Climate change targets, but set at what level?

| | Comments (0)
turbineanddarkclouds.jpgThe SNP set out their programme for government today, including a Climate Change Bill. Their manifesto last time was clear:

"In government we will introduce a Climate Change Bill with mandatory carbon reduction targets of 3% per annum and also set a long-term target of cutting emissions by a minimum of 80% by 2050 - above the UK target of 60%." (2007 SNP manifesto, p.21)

Annual targets are important because they make Ministers accountable. Each year they have to come before Parliament and say something like: ".. last year we achieved a 2.6% cut in our emissions, which is well below the target set in the legislation. With this in mind, we are increasing next year's budget for public transport, we will reject plans for new coal-fired power stations, and require all Scottish government agencies to switch to 100% clean energy."

The simple issue is this. Who will be in office in a year? The SNP, barring something unforeseen. Who's accountable then? They are. Who will be in office in 2050? No-one knows. Who's accountable? No-one. 

Update: Cochrane says "And, of course we won't be able to see if the Climate Change Bill has worked until 2050. I'll keep you posted."

Yet the annual targets have been dropped, and all that remains is the 80% target for 2050. Have the SNP gone native? Or have they taken it away just so they can look magnanimous by putting it back? It was even suggested to me today that annual targets would go back in exchange for our votes on Local Income Tax. I don't think so.

Not least because the votes are there in the chamber. I listened to the debate today and heard the case for annual targets made by (amongst others) Malcolm Chisholm for Labour, Alison McInnes for the Liberals, and John Scott for the Tories. 

With us, that's a massive majority for some kind of annual targets, whatever the SNP do. If they vote against, it's 81-47, assuming Margo votes for targets. So the question is this: what level should they be set at?

Let's follow the science. We back the Tyndall Centre's analysis. 90% is a better longterm target, and that means we need at least 4.5% annual cuts if we want to do our bit. 

I'm delighted to see the other parties, especially the Tories and the Liberals, really standing up for annual targets. Let's see if they back a sensible number, though.

Leave a comment

Your Links At Last


Other Politics



Friends and Stuff I Like

If I've forgotten to link to you, let me know. If I don't want to link to your blog I'll pretend I never got your email.

The party's site of which I am rather proud

Along with Jeff (formerly SNP Tactical Voting) and Malc (formerly In The Burgh), I now co-edit Better Nation, a group blog. Stuff will still appear here, but more will be there. Better Nation

Post History

This page was published on September 3, 2008 4:55 PM.

Like the SNP, only Alaskan. was the previous entry in this blog.

It's pie time. is the next entry in this blog.