20 December 2007

S3M-1023 Climate Change Bill [Opening Speech]

Scottish Parliament

Thursday 20 December 2007

[THE PRESIDING OFFICER opened the meeting at 09:15]
... ... ...
Climate Change Bill

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Trish Godman): The next item of business is a debate on motion S3M-1023, in the name of Stewart Stevenson, on the United Kingdom Climate Change Bill.


The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change (Stewart Stevenson):

We all understand the need to take action on climate change and to co-operate with other countries to do so. The United Kingdom Climate Change Bill sets a statutory target of at least a 60 per cent reduction in targeted greenhouse gases by 2050. The target relates to carbon dioxide, but the bill provides scope to alter the target level or to include other greenhouse gases in future. It will be the secretary of state's duty to meet that target, but he will look to the other Administrations in these islands to assist.

The bill ensures consultation with the Scottish ministers on setting and amending carbon budgets and on amending targets. The bill will benefit Scotland. It enables us to obtain expert advice from the new committee on climate change on our contribution to the UK target and on our own proposed target of 80 per cent. It provides enabling powers under which all the Administrations may establish trading schemes related to greenhouse gas emissions. That provides a means of establishing joint schemes—but does not require us to have such schemes—and allows us to set up what we decide is suitable for Scotland. We have no immediate plans to use those powers. The bill also provides for a UK-wide assessment of the risks posed by climate change, to which we will need to adapt.

Through the bill, we shall work with our partners at Westminster towards shared objectives and demonstrate international leadership. It is important to note, though, that the bill does not dictate the measures that we should take in Scotland. We can legislate in the Scottish Parliament for our own target and determine Scottish measures to support both targets.

I move,

That the Parliament endorses the principle of introducing for the United Kingdom as a whole statutory targets and a related framework for action to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions as set out in the Climate Change Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 14 November 2007, and agrees that the provisions in the Bill which fall within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament should be considered by the UK Parliament.


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