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EU action on climate change

Published: 30 Sep 2016 14:17

Environment Secretary welcomes European Union agreement.

The ratification of the Paris climate change agreement by EU members has been welcomed by the Environment Secretary.

The understanding, which brings implementation of the agreement one step closer, was reached at the Environment Council in Brussels, following an extraordinary meeting called by the Slovakian Presidency attended by Scotland's Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

Speaking after the event Ms Cunningham said:

"I heartily welcome the EU's ratification of the Paris Agreement, which is a significant step forward in this pioneering international accord coming to fruition.

"Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the world faces. In Scotland we continue working towards cutting our greenhouse gas emissions, building on our position as a world leader in this area and collaborating with our EU neighbours to tackle this problem together.

"While we have made excellent progress and exceeded our 2020 target six years early, we know more needs to be done and we will be publishing a new draft Climate Change Plan in the winter. This will set out our priorities and commitments to meeting our ambitious emissions reduction targets over the coming decades. In response to the increased global ambition in the Paris Agreement we will be consulting on a new Climate Bill next year."

Notes to editors

The Paris Agreement is the first ever global and legally binding climate agreement. It aims to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees, while increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development.

As of 28 September, the Paris Agreement has 191 signatories, of which 61 Parties have ratified their agreement, accounting for 47.79% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.