HolyRood 28

Scotland’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod has said that the international community must match Scotland’s world-leading climate change ambitions to tackle global warming.

Dr McLeod will travel today  to Lima in Peru to take part in UN climate talks which are aimed at paving the way for a new global climate treaty next year. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland are also attending.

It comes just days after official estimates that 2014 will be the warmest year on record with manmade greenhouse gases causing the rise in temperatures.

Dr McLeod said:

“The scientific evidence could not be clearer. The world is getting warmer and greenhouse gas emissions from mankind are extremely likely to be the dominant cause of climate change.

“That is why I am taking a very strong message to the UN meeting in Lima that the international community must match Scotland’s world-leading climate change ambitions.

“The Scottish Government takes climate change extremely seriously. Our solid progress towards achieving a 42 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020 from a 1990 baseline has been praised by our independent assessors the Committee on Climate Change, and we have committed almost £1 billion of Scottish Government funding over the next two years for climate change action.

“We know our targets are not easy but they are at the level the international community needs to match if the new climate treaty in Paris next year is to stand a good chance of limiting global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees Celsius.

“By sharing Scotland’s high ambition on climate change with the international delegates attending this crucial summit in Peru, we will show that substantial progress on cutting emissions is do-able as well as desirable.

“Climate change affects every single person on this planet and so it is time for the global community to step up and follow Scotland’s lead. However, these targets are not just for governments or politicians – everyone has a role to play in reducing emissions.”

Tom Ballantine, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Chair, said:

“It is important that there is a Scottish presence at the Lima climate conference, as Scotland has a good story to tell of commitment on climate action. Attendance from the Scottish Climate Minister should send a positive signal to the international community about Scottish political commitment to taking action on climate change. We continue to share Scotland’s climate action story abroad and work to realise its full potential at home.”

Commenting on WWF’s wind power figures Dr McLeod added:

“Scotland’s renewable energy targets are amongst the most ambitious in the world and we are punching above our weight in the international effort to tackle climate change. For example, we generated 46.6 per cent equivalent of Scotland’s gross electricity production from renewables in 2013 and we are making excellent progress towards meeting our target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of gross annual electricity demand from renewables by 2020.

“This is just one of the ways in which Scotland is working to meet our world-leading climate change ambitions which I will be urging the international community to match when I am at the UN climate talks in Lima this week.”