Scotland must catch up on its emissions targets if it is to retain global respect for climate change action, a Labour MSP has warned.
The country missed its first legally binding target earlier this year, with the extreme winter weather of 2009 and 2010 said to have contributed to the failure.
Labour’s Claudia Beamish told MSPs that all levels of government must now make changes and shifts in spending to meet future climate change goals.
“The Scottish Government did indeed miss the first annual emissions targets and these must be put into the second Report on Proposals and Policies if we are to have any chance of playing catch-up and retaining our position in world respect. This has been highlighted by many in NGOs,” she said.
Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said he hopes the milder winter of 2011 will put the targets back on track, acknowledging that the figures set out to be achieved before 2050 are “very demanding indeed”.
He called on the Scottish Government to look again at replacing nuclear power stations.
The MSPs were speaking as Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse updated Holyrood on the recent international climate change negotiations in Doha.
“We can all be proud of progress we are making on tackling climate change in Scotland but I accept we can and must do more,” Mr Wheelhouse said.