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Climate change challenge

Published: 27 Oct 2015 15:00

Call for community ideas as Scotland continues to show way on climate change.

People and communities across Scotland are to be asked what more we should all be doing to tackle climate change.

Scotland is already three quarters of the way towards achieving its world-leading target of a 42 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, as the Scottish Government published an update on greenhouse gas emissions targets, Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod praised progress made so far.

Dr McLeod said:

"In just a matter of weeks international leaders will meet in Paris to agree a new, legally binding climate change agreement. It is fair to say that our future, and that of generations to come, depends on a successful outcome. Climate change affects all of us, so there is a responsibility on all of us to act.

"But Scotland's world-leading climate change legislation requires even greater reductions by 2050, as well as action to make up for the fixed annual targets we would have met, had it not been for successive increases to the baseline since the targets were established.

"The Scottish Government has pledged £1 billion over two years for climate change action and has put in place a comprehensive package of policies and proposals to meet our targets. But reducing emissions can only be achieved through action by all of us, not just the Government.

"I would like to pay tribute to the action on climate change being taken by individuals, families, communities, businesses and other organisations right across Scotland. But we need to continue to do more and bold action will be needed in future.

"That is why, in the New Year, as part of the development of further measures to tackle climate change between now and 2032, we will be asking people across Scotland for their views on climate change and what action we can collectively take."

It comes ahead of December's international climate change talks in Paris which Dr McLeod will attend as part of the UK delegation.

She added:

"This is milestone year in the international effort to combat climate change. A high ambition treaty in Paris is essential as we push to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst impacts of climate change falling on the world's poorest and most vulnerable people.

"Scotland's move to a low carbon economy is delivering jobs, investment and economic growth leadership, and our ambition has been called a 'shining example' to other countries by the head of the UN's climate body.

"As we approach the final countdown to Paris, I will continue to support UK, EU and UN efforts to secure a high-ambition treaty by promoting examples of Scottish leadership in tackling climate change and encouraging other nations and regions to step up and embrace the climate change challenge we are all facing."

Notes to editors

The Minister's statement to the Scottish Parliament marks the publication of two Scottish Government reports on greenhouse gas emissions targets. See:

The latest greenhouse gas emission reduction figures are for the year 2013, and were published in June. See:

The Third Report on Policies and Proposals (RPP3) is a requirement of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 which will set out measures for meeting Scotland's annual climate change targets to 2032. The report will also set out in detail policies and a proposals to compensate in future years for excess emissions from previous annual targets.

Dr McLeod's attendance at the Paris climate change talks was confirmed earlier this month:

Scotland's ambition on renewables and low carbon was called a 'shining example' to other countries by UNFCCC head Christina Figueres.