Environment Minister highlights £70m cost to Scotland of UK cuts in the energy company obligation

emissionsScotland’s Environment Minister Aileen McLeod has urged Amber Rudd to make increasing the UK’s climate change ambition a top priority following her appointment as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Dr McLeod has written to Rudd to highlight the impact of UK policies on Scottish greenhouse gas emissions as international negotiations continue on a new global climate change treaty to be agreed in Paris in December.

The Holyrood Minister said: “For that treaty to stand a good chance of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, the UK and the rest of the international community must match Scotland’s high climate change ambition.

“Scotland is on track to meet our world-leading target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. And we are punching above our weight in the international effort to tackle climate change, outperforming the UK as a whole and the EU average for emissions reduction between 1990 and 2012.

“Scottish emission levels also depend to a significant extent on policies at UK and EU level. And Scotland is paying the price for the UK’s lack of climate ambition.

“For example, changes by made by the UK Government to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) have reduced ECO investment in energy efficiency and fuel poverty measures in Scotland by an estimated £60-£70 million last year alone.

“In response, the Scottish Government has increased our total funding for fuel poverty and domestic energy efficiency to £94 million in 2014-15 and £119 million in 2015-16.

“The UK’s Green Deal Finance has also significantly under-delivered and as such investment in energy efficiency here in Scotland is much lower than originally anticipated by the UK Government.

“It is essential that the UK shares Scotland’s high ambition and works with the Scottish Government to tackle this pressing issue.

“That is why I have requested a meeting with Ms Rudd to discuss the impact of UK policies on Scottish greenhouse gas emissions and to share Scotland’s experience of tackling climate change and building a low carbon economy.”

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