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Update on Scottish climate change legislation

By Laura McNaught, Senior Analyst on the Devolved Administrations at the CCC

It has been a busy spring and summer for the Scottish Parliament where further legislation relating to the Scottish Climate Change Act has been made.  

Before the Act received Royal Assent on 4th August 2009, Scottish Ministers asked the Committee for advice relating to a number of the key provisions of the Act, including on the highest achievable interim target (for 2020), how international aviation and shipping emissions should be accounted for and the levels of annual targets that are required to be set in legislation.

This report was published by the Committee in February 2010.

On 21st April 2010 a package of secondary legislation was brought before the Scottish Parliament which closely followed the advice provided by the Committee. Amongst other provisions it reaffirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases in Scotland by 42% by 2020 and proposed annual targets for 2010-22.

While most of this legislation was passed, the statutory instrument setting annual targets was narrowly voted against in the Scottish Parliament in May 2010.

The Scottish Government is now convening a short-life cross-party working group to consider the issue further and report back to Minister Stewart Stevenson in early September. The Minister has asked the Committee to sit on the working group and we will provide advice to the group as required and feed in findings from our 2010 Progress report.

A Report on Proposals and Policies to achieve the required emission reductions will also be published by the Scottish Government later in 2010.