Scottish Oyster card among green measures suggested to tackle climate change

A Scottish Oyster card, a frequent-flier tax and retrofitting old homes to make them energy-efficient are among a raft of green measures proposed in a new report on tackling climate change, presented to parliament today.

The recommendations come from the Scotland s Climate Assembly, made up of Scots of all ages and from a wide range of backgrounds and communities across the country.

A total of 81 action points for tackling the climate emergency in a fair and effective way have been set out in the report.

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A broad range of issues are addressed, including domestic heating, environmental impact in public procurement, land use and agriculture, taxation, transport and the economy.

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Among the proposals are plans for a national nature service, aimed at creating jobs in rewilding and environmental protection.

It calls for enhanced training and opportunities in green jobs, a programme of public education on climate issues and a single national travel card that would help integrate Scotland’s transport system.

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It suggests all existing homes should be modified to become more energy-efficient by 2030, while all new buildings must be required to meet strict environmental standards.

Scottish government ministers are obliged to publish a statement outlining how they will respond to the proposals within the next six months – around the time when Scotland is due to host the COP26 global climate summit.

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Scotland's Climate Assembly - the world's first to include children as young as seven years old - has presented a report to parliament, laying out 81 green actions to help battle climate change in a fair and effective way
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Scotland’s Climate Assembly is the world’s first to include the views of children as young as seven years old, through an innovative partnership with the Children’s Parliament.

Professor Dave Reay, chair in carbon management and education and executive director of Edinburgh Climate Change Institute at the University of Edinburgh, is a member of the group.

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He said: “This is a clarion call for climate action right across Scotland.

“For anyone who was still wondering what needs done on climate change, it's writ large here: much more and much faster.

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“These recommendations span every part of our lives, from heating our homes and the daily commute, through to what we buy and what we eat.

“In these times of Covid, the call for more climate education, green skills and job opportunities is an especially powerful one.

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“As a nation, if we can get anywhere near the same levels of climate understanding, passion and commitment to action shown by the assembly members, then Scotland really can punch well above our weight in the global fight against climate change.”

Ruth Harvey, who is co-convener with Social Bite founder and entrepreneur Josh Littlejohn, said: “The focused recommendations presented by the assembly members are a call to action not only to our political leaders but to all citizens of Scotland.

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“The report calls on each one of us to be ambitious, united and driven as we change and adapt to ensure our planet not only survives but thrives.

“Change is often challenging. The small daily actions that we each must alter are part of the bigger culture change that the assembly is calling for.

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“We each have a part to play.”

In their statement of ambition, members address the whole of Scottish society – including government, businesses, communities and individuals – giving a detailed overview of the changes members say are now essential.

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It states: “As a nation we have the opportunity to be pioneers by taking immediate action to empower our next generations to lead sustainable lives by setting up the framework now.

“As a society we will need to change and adapt to meet the challenges, and recognise that there will be costs.

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“But failure to act now will mean greater expense, and more difficult changes in the future, in order to avoid catastrophic costs to the planet.”

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