Scotland offers message and model for climate action
Environment Minister Aileen McLeod will join thousands of people on a march through the streets of Edinburgh today (Saturday) ahead of crucial United Nations climate negotiations in Paris next week.
Dr McLeod, who will participate in the UNFCCC Conference of Parties as part of the UK delegation, said that Scotland offers a message and model for climate action.
Dr McLeod said:
"It is crucial that the message from this march reaches all the way to Paris - that Scotland wants and expects an ambitious and fair climate treaty to be agreed.
"The stakes really could not be higher and it is fair to say that our future and that of generations to come, depends on a successful outcome.
"Scotland not only takes a message to Paris but, we offer a model of what can be done to tackle climate change. In the countdown to these negotiations the Scottish Government has been promoting Scotland's actions on climate change to the international community.
"The global community must match Scotland's high ambition if the new global climate treaty is to stand a good chance of limiting global temperature rise to no more than 2°C.
"In Scotland we are striving to set a good example and in comparison to other countries around the world, there is cross-Party support and support from across Scottish Civil Society in favour of action climate change.
"We have set high ambition on climate change with a world-leading target of 42% cut in emissions by 2020 compared to 1990. That target is within reach - we have cut emissions by 38% by 2013 compared to 1990 levels. We have scaled up our renewable energy and now generate almost half our electricity demand from renewables. We have delivered against our target of 500 Megawatts of community renewables and we have in place a comprehensive package of policies and measures to meet our emission reduction targets.
"But we recognise there is also a moral need to take action on climate change, this is why we are committed to championing climate justice- both at home and abroad – through the Scottish National Action Plan on Human Rights. As a Government, we have demonstrated this commitment clearly, through our £6million Climate Justice Fund (funded by the Hydro Nation initiative), which has allowed us to support 11 projects in four sub-Saharan African countries (Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia).
"On top of this, we have also provided £3.8m from our International Development Fund since 2012 for community energy projects in Malawi to support our participation in the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative. This work has been praised by key UN figures such as Christiana Figueres, who has called Scotland a 'shining example' to other developed countries.
"Whatever the outcome in Paris – and I believe it will be a positive one – we must all continue to champion and work to deliver the emissions reductions required in Scotland."