Skip to main content

Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20370: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 4 December 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the European Commission’s proposal for a climate neutral EU by 2050, and what impact this will have on Scotland.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 13 December 2018

The Scottish Government welcomes the European Commission’s proposals for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050. We contributed to the consultation on this strategy, sharing our experience and urging the EU to maintain its leadership. We now look forward to the strategic long-term vision set out by the Commission being translated into legally binding emissions reduction targets and credible policies to deliver on these.

The EU has been a key player in international efforts to secure a global, legally-binding agreement to address climate change. Targets set by the European Commission have played a defining role in stimulating the huge growth in renewable energy in Scotland. This growth has seen significant inward investment flows into Scotland and been instrumental in the significant decarbonisation of our power sector.

The Climate Change Bill introduced to the Scottish Parliament in May includes emissions reduction targets for 2020, 2030 and 2040 that are the most stretching statutory targets for these years of any country in the world. The targets in the Bill also mean that Scotland will be carbon neutral by 2050. The Scottish Government wants to go further and achieve net-zero emissions for all greenhouse gases as soon as possible. We’ll set a target date for this as soon as it can be done credibly and responsibly. The independent advice on targets we have requested from the UK Committee on Climate Change next Spring will consider whether even more can now be done in Scotland, including in light of the European Commission’s current proposals.