The Scottish Climate Assembly has expressed its feelings on the response made so far by the Scottish Government, (a SNP/Scottish Green ‘coalition’ ) to its recommendations as to what Scotland can do to address the climate emergency.
In a Statement of Response the members of the Climate Assembly commended the Scottish Parliament for establishing the Assembly and the Scottish Government for responding to the recommendations.
Criticism from the Assembly members comes about at the slow pace of the changes needed in Scotland to address the climate emergency.
In 2021 COP26 took place in Glasgow and considerable promises were made by many countries about how they would do things differently. The irony was that many attendees had arrived in personal jets and indigenous communities demonstrated over that weekend about the lack of voice for their concerns.
Scotland’s Climate Assembly members state:
“Throughout the Government’s response there are many pledges using words like ‘consider’ and ‘explore’. We would like to see a clearer roadmap, with more ambitious targets. We want the Government to commit to more specific actions, targets and timescales and to report back to us as a matter of urgency, so that we are able to hold them to account for delivery.”
The statement also calls on the Scottish Government to engage more actively with farmers and the fishing communities.
Concern is also expressed about the retro-fitting of homes to reduce their carbon emissions which the members feel ‘will push more people into fuel poverty.’
Although the extension of free bus travel by the Scottish Government is welcomed Assembly members want to see an integrated transport network.
Despite the Scottish Government now including Green Ministers the slow pace of change is what stands out as the greatest criticism of the Climate Assembly. It is not impressed by the ‘we don’t have the powers’ excuse coming from Edinburgh.
“Overall the Assembly is not content with the common response from the Government to our recommendations being that ‘we don’t have the powers’. We believe that the Scottish Government has failed to test how far it can utilise existing powers to deliver and needs to do so.“
More collaboration at all levels, better communication, updating on progress made and being more accountable through an annual review are recommended by the Assembly if Scotland is “to be leading work to tackle the global climate emergency, both within the UK and around the world”.
We all have to change the way we do things: individual citizens, businesses and governments (at all levels).
Click on this link to find out more about Scotland’s Climate Assembly