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EU to sign climate treaty

Published: 4 Mar 2016 16:30

Minister welcomes European commitment to continued leadership on climate change.

Continued global leadership on climate change from Europe has been welcomed by Scotland's Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod.

It comes after the EU today agreed to formally sign up to the global climate deal reached in December.

The EU was also the first to make a commitment on reducing emissions before the historic Paris climate summit, and has today also agreed a comprehensive and ambitious set of legislation to implement that pledge.

Speaking after attending the EU's Environment Council Dr McLeod said:

"The EU's climate leadership and diplomacy were key to the success of the Paris Agreement. It was the first major economy block to make known its plans to reduce emissions, and negotiated as an equal with China, India and the USA – wielding far more influence on the international stage than 28 individual member states would be able to do on their own.

"The EU remain committed to cutting emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030 and they recognise our ambition to cut emissions even further. The EU did firmly commit to support the IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report in 2018 on how to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

"The EU also committed to participate in the UN dialogue in 2018 to take stock of global efforts towards the long-term goal, and to its own in depth analysis before 2020 of the transformation that will be needed in energy and transport to deliver a mid-century, long-term, low emissions development strategy.

"Scotland is already punching above our weight on climate action, and we are on track to meet and exceed our world-leading target of a 42 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. I also met the EU's Climate Action Commissioner Cañete today who was very interested to hear about Scotland's experience in developing and implementing some of the world's most demanding climate change policies and targets."

The EU Environment Council also considered proposals for an EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy. Dr McLeod added:

"It was very encouraging to hear Scotland's circular economy strategy, Making Things Last, highlighted at Environment Council. I also had the opportunity to tell Member States about our new food waste target, and share our experience of taking the concept of a circular economy, where we keep products in use for as long as possible, and turning it into real, practical action. Scotland is already recognised internationally as a leader in this area, and today is further evidence of that."

Notes to editors

Scotland's Circular Economy Strategy was launched on February 23, 2016 by Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead and EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella: