MSPs demand more detail in Scot-Govt climate-change plan, while MPs are set to deplore Big Six energy price rises

The four parliamentary committees examining the Scot-Govt’s draft Climate Change Plan have published their recommendations for the final plan ahead of a full debate in Holyrood this week.

The cross-party group of MSPs has produced a strong critique of the Scot-Govt’s plan, after considering evidence from experts and views from the public over the last two months, and concluded that there is much to be improved upon.

Graeme Day, the SNP  MSP convenor of Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, said: “Scotland has ambitious climate change targets and we want to make sure that plans to reduce emissions are as robust and achievable as possible.

“Our Committee feels that it is crucial for all of Scotland’s sectors to play their part in reducing emissions. Specifically transport and agriculture – which are the biggest contributors in terms of creating harmful carbon emissions – must, in the opinion of the committee, be required to make a greater contribution in tackling climate change.”

Tom Ballantine, Chairman of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “We are pleased to see that the committees have condemned the transport thinking contained within the plan as inadequate, and have called for unconvincing predictions of traffic growth to be reviewed.

On agriculture, the Climate Committee recommends soil testing be made compulsory. They say there is a need for more clarity on government’s expectations for uptake of climate-smart measures by farmers. Climate-friendly farming can save farmers money.

On housing, MSPs have criticised the Government’s proposed delay to bringing in low carbon heating and urge Government to move more quickly on this issue. The final plan should provide confidence that the transition to low carbon heat will start immediately.

“A key point all of the Committees made is that the final plan needs more detail on how much and when each policy will deliver to make it credible.”

On Thursday (16 March) MSPs will have a chance to question and comment on the Climate Change Plan during a debate in Holyrood. It will then be down to the Scottish Government to improve the draft and produce a strong final plan for Scotland.

Meanwhile, MPs are set to MPs set to deplore energy price rises recently accounted by the Big Six – including Scottish Power and SSE.

Also on Thursday, MPs will debate the following motion in the Westminster parliament:

  • “That this House deplores the big six energy firms’ treatment of out-of-contract energy customers on default tariffs
  • “Believes immediate action is needed to protect those consumers, and that pushing customers to start switching will not fix the problem sufficiently quickly or completely on its own, and:
  • “Calls on the industry, regulators and the Government to consider solutions which recognise that many people lead busy lives and that switching their energy supplier may not always be a high priority.”

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