Scotland ‘must set example on fighting climate change’

SCOTLAND has a “moral obligation” to set an example of how to tackle climate change, environment minister Stewart Stevenson has said.

He added that he will take that message to UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa next week.

Mr Stevenson led a debate on the issue at Holyrood, telling MSPs he does not expect any breakthrough at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change but that there are opportunities that must not be missed.

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Labour said the SNP should focus more on existing domestic legislation and criticised the government for sending out mixed messages on its approach to tackling climate change through its budget.

Mr Stevenson said: “We don’t expect a breakthrough at Durban. With global emissions at an all-time high we’ve only got a short time to get emissions on a downward track, allowing for the time it would take for countries to ratify a new treaty.

“My message as part of the UK delegation will be that it is imperative that the massive opportunities that this fundamental shift in the global economy will bring are not missed.

“We believe that action is needed now to grasp the opportunities being presented.”