UK climate change targets should mirror those in Scotland, says SNP

20th April 2015

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  • Devolved government ,
  • Natural resources


Suzanne Bryon

The UK should match Scotland's target to reduce emissions by 42% by 2020, according to the Scottish National Party's manifesto, launched today.

The document states: "We will use our influence at Westminster to ensure the UK matches, and supports, Scotland's ambitious commitments to carbon reduction and that both Scotland and the UK are able to play a constructive role at this year's UN climate change conference."

The UK government should also create a climate justice fund, as Scotland has done, to support developing countries adapt to climate change, the manifesto says.

The SNP also wants to see the contracts for difference (CfD) regime altered to ensure that support is given to the offshore wind sector to not only generate renewable energy but also to boost manufacturing opportunities and investment in Scotland.

Subsidy schemes should be amended so that Scottish renewables, and Scotland's islands, are not penalised because of their distance from markets in the south of England, the SNP says.

The party also pledges support for onshore wind through the lifetime of the next parliament, additional support for hydro and carbon capture and storage schemes, and the continuation of the renewable heat incentive beyond 2015.

The SNP would also press the UK government to simplify access to the grid for community energy schemes.

Other measures in the manifesto include:

  • Pushing for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) to be funded through general taxation, rather than through energy bills.
  • Continuing a moratorium on fracking.
  • Increasing the capital available to the Green Investment Bank and asking the next UK government to report on new borrowing powers for the bank.

Meanwhile, Labour has promised to undertake a review of resource security, according to its green manifesto, launched today.

The document largely repeats pledges from the party's main manifesto launched last week. But it also stresses the job opportunities that could arise by using resources more efficiently and recycling waste in the UK rather than exporting it.

It says: "The next Labour government will undertake a review of resource security to unlock the economic opportunities from using our resources more efficiently. This review will be led by the Treasury and it will galvanise real action across Whitehall, business and local government.

"Labour's approach will create confidence in the long-term demand for recycled material, encouraging more investment, boosting growth and high-skilled jobs and improving resource security. Action on resource security will also deliver the stability we need across our economy by reducing our exposure to volatile raw materials prices."

The party also promises a 25-year plan to reverse the decline of the natural environment, tackle climate change and increase access to nature. The plan will have five-year milestones and will prioritise public access to green spaces, defend the public forest estate from privatisation and strengthen "brownfield first" policy for new development to protect greenfield land.


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