Experts call on Scottish Government to follow 12-point environment plan

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Business leaders and environmentalists have created a 12 point plan of steps it says the Scottish Government should take to tackle climate change.

The Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG) said action was needed to ensure temperatures did not rise 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, with experts warning there were just 12 years left to avoid breaching that.

Scottish ministers have set the goal of achieving 'net-zero' greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Picture: Getty

Scottish ministers have set the goal of achieving 'net-zero' greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Picture: Getty

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declared a climate emergency in April and Scottish ministers have set the goal of achieving “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

The CERG proposes steps such as signalling that every one of Scotland’s city centres will be vehicle emission free by 2030 and enhancing building standards to deliver zero-carbon homes and buildings.

It also suggests producing advice for the public on sustainable, climate-friendly, healthy diets and mobilising the £11 billion of annual public procurement to “support the product and service innovation the climate emergency response needs”.

Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “We are already witnessing the effects of climate change, and now is the moment when we must accelerate our response if we are to avoid the worst effects and secure the many social and economic benefits of moving to a climate neutral economy.

“This is the time for us all to support strong changes to policy and programmes in response to the climate emergency, and this report sets out our initial recommendations for the Scottish Government’s leadership role.

“The adoption of these policies by the Scottish Government would demonstrate world-leading commitment, slashing our emissions and showing where the rest of the world can follow us.”

The 12 proposals also include the creation of a £100 million Agricultural Modernisation fund and accelerating Scotland’s energy efficiency retrofit scheme.
Teresa Bray, chief executive of Changeworks, said: “Scotland has a proud record of leading the way. We did so in the industrial revolution, now it is time for us to do so in the face of a climate emergency.

“The International Panel on Climate Change has said that we have just 12 years left to get ourselves on a pathway to avoid breaching 1.5 degrees of warming, a disaster for people and nature.

“That’s only 2,000 working days – an extreme time scale to accelerate action.

“But, as the actions we are recommending show, it is achievable and can be a huge social and economic opportunity for Scotland.”