Nicola Sturgeon: 'Rest of UK must follow our lead with tough climate laws'

Nicola Sturgeon has urged the UK to follow Scotland's lead in setting tough legislative targets to tackle climate change.

Currently, the UK Government is committed to bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

However, the First Minister said that the target should be brought forward by five years to 2045 - in line with the target voted for by the Scottish Parliament in September.

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"Climate change is the single biggest challenge facing the world - and the next UK government has to take radical action," said Ms Sturgeon.

"Climate change is the single biggest challenge facing the world - and the next UK government has to take radical action," said Ms Sturgeon. Picture: John Devlin / JPIMEDIA

"In Scotland we have led the way with 75% of our electricity now coming from renewables, nearly halving our climate emissions since 1990 and taking action to ensure there will be no fracking in Scotland.

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"With Scotland, and the UK, hosting the UN Climate Change talks next year, we must show real global leadership and as part of that the UK should adopt the same targets as Scotland, so that there is real urgency to our actions.

"The SNP has introduced the toughest legislative targets in the world which mean that Scotland's contribution to climate change will end."

The SNP leader also said that a vote for her party in the General Election would be a vote to ensure that tackling the climate crisis is central to the next parliament at Westminster.

Ms Sturgeon said: "An early SNP demand will be for the UK to match Scotland's tough legal targets - bringing forward net zero for all emissions, not just carbon, by at least five years to 2045.

"We will force an early vote to take the radical steps needed - and challenge any party to justify inaction in the face of the global climate crisis.

"A vote for the SNP will ensure that the climate crisis is central to the next Westminster parliament, and that we can escape from Brexit and choose a better future as an independent

European nation so that we can have access to all the tools we need to ensure Scotland plays our full part, by going further, faster to reduce emissions."

Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie said that both the Scottish and UK governments are "in denial" about the urgency and timescale required to tackle the climate emergency.

"This pitch for Green votes from Nicola Sturgeon is embarrassing," said Mr Harvie.

"Ambition is about more than targets. She is calling for 'radical' solutions, but her list of suggestions rely on technology that is either undeveloped or unaffordable for ordinary people.

"Climate science gives us ten years to turn this round. We don't have time to pin all our hopes on untested future solutions like electric planes and carbon capture and storage.

"We need to start a transition now through a Scottish Green New Deal to rebuild our public sector and create thousands of jobs in cutting energy waste, reforesting Scotland, and new sustainable industries.

"Both the Scottish and UK governments are in denial about the urgency and timescale required. That's why the loudest way to demand climate action is to vote Scottish Green on December 12."