07 October 2010

S3M-7154 Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2010 [Closing Speech]

Scottish Parliament

Thursday 7 October 2010

[The Presiding Officer opened the meeting at 09:15]
... ... ...
Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2010

The Presiding Officer (Alex Fergusson):
The next item of business is a debate on motion S3M-7154, in the name of Bruce Crawford, on the Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2010.

Motion moved,

That the Parliament agrees that the Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2010 be approved.—[Bruce Crawford.]

... ... ...

Stewart Stevenson:

I thank all members for their contributions, from which it is clear that the Parliament retains high ambitions on climate change. All members who spoke in this short debate spoke of the value of the working group. I single out the chair, Mike Robinson, for his efforts in keeping us on track—[Interruption.]

The Presiding Officer: Order. The minister is winding up the debate. I, for one, would like to hear him.

Stewart Stevenson: Mike Robinson kept us on track and provided the external objectivity that was of value to the group. I thank him very much indeed. I hope that it is seen that we have responded positively in bringing forward this new order.

Sarah Boyack said that pilots cannot give certainty. I agree absolutely with the point. That said, pilots can give greater understanding of the options that are in front of us. Not all pilots have positive outcomes. When a pilot has a negative outcome—as may well happen in some cases—it stops us from pursuing something that does not work. I hope that pilots continue to be an important part of the way in which we look at things right up to 2050.

I believe that Jackson Carlaw's wife cannot wait to get him home tonight—

Members: Whoah!

Stewart Stevenson: Laryngitis is an opportunity she has long looked for.

As I said in my opening speech, we must now focus on delivery. Since the Parliament last considered the order, we have seen examples including the zero waste plan, the Scottish green bus fund and the energy efficiency action plan, which I highlighted earlier. Each of those examples contains significant actions that will deliver emission reductions in Scotland. Of course, in the report on proposals and policies that we will produce in November, we will set out how we intend to meet our emissions targets.

Let us absolutely accept that reducing the initial targets by 2 million tonnes in the first year in the new order by comparison with the previous order and having set a trajectory that is much more challenging to 2022, we have set a very challenging way forward for all of us. It is important that we continue to keep focused on the objective of the 42 per cent reduction by 2020. It is also important that we continue to engage with people across Europe and that we get the European Union to step up to our ambitions and support us by increasing its target to 30 per cent. We face a huge challenge, but we are in a position to move forward to the delivery phase. The targets before us are the ones that we should pass tonight. I commend them to the chamber.


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