Section 3 — Annual targets
Climate Change (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3
10:00 am

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Alex Fergusson (None)

Group 3 is on the setting of annual targets. Amendment 11, in the name of Alison McInnes, is grouped with amendments 12 to 18. I draw members' attention to the additional information on pre-emptions in the group, which is in the groupings paper.

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Alison McInnes (Liberal Democrat)

I will speak to amendment 11 and to amendments 12 and 15, in the name of Patrick Harvie, because I would have lodged such amendments if he had not beaten me to it.

I have a question for members. When is 3 per cent not 3 per cent? Perhaps that is not the most challenging riddle. We all know the answer: when it is inconvenient for the SNP.

Mr Swinney said that the Government was

"committed to an 80 per cent reduction in our emissions by 2050. That target is equivalent to a reduction of 3 per cent each year."—[Official Report, 21 June 2007; c 1039.]

I hesitate to challenge the mathematics of Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, but I must do so. An 80 per cent reduction by 2050 is equivalent to 3 per cent annual reductions if and only if the 80 per cent target is met by making annual reductions of 3 per cent.

I will explain, and I must again talk about cumulative emissions. Let us imagine two trajectories towards the 80 per cent target: in one, the interim target is 34 per cent, and 3 per cent annual reductions kick in after 2020; in the other, the interim target is 42 per cent and the 3 per cent annual reductions happen from the outset. Those trajectories are not equivalent. The start and end points are the same, but the bit in the middle—the important bit—is far from the same. On the first trajectory, we emit nearly 1,500 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. On the second, we emit just more than 1,300 million tonnes. The difference is about 142 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or nearly three times the total emissions for Scotland in 2006. The two trajectories are not equivalent.

That is why it is vital that we take early action. We need 3 per cent annual reductions now. SNP members have just voted for a 42 per cent interim target. Now they have the chance to show us that that was not just political manoeuvring. Let them show us that they intend to achieve the target.

Annual emissions reductions of 3 per cent will enable us to reach the 42 per cent reduction target by 2020. If the SNP is serious about that goal, I am confident that amendment 11 will gain support. If the SNP is not serious about the goal, Scotland will soon know it.

I move amendment 11.

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Patrick Harvie (Green)

Alison McInnes made a good job of explaining something that is easier to explain in a graph than in a speech. The question that we must ask ourselves is not simply about point-in-time targets. Such targets are part of the issue, but if we are to determine what impact we are having on the climate we must also think about the trajectory and overall greenhouse gas emissions over the course of that trajectory.

The question is then very clear. We have stiffened the task and steepened the trajectory by bringing the interim target forward from 2030 to 2020 and raising it—albeit that during the coming months we must wait to see whether the Government wants to reduce it again. If by passing the bill the Parliament is defining a more ambitious trajectory, the annual targets must automatically be made stronger.

On first reading, amendments 15 and 17, in my name, and amendment 11, in the name of Alison McInnes, might seem slightly confusing, if only because some of them follow on from amendments that we debated earlier. Members are presented with a series of options. We can consider the 3 per cent annual target, to which the SNP committed in its manifesto and in Government for a while—although not for long enough to include it in the bill. The Labour Party has criticised the SNP for dropping its commitment to 3 per cent annual reductions. Let us now commit to ensuring that such reductions are made, rather than simply accepting that the target has been dropped.

We have an opportunity to raise the annual target to 4.5 per cent. I have argued that that is necessary for a more ambitious trajectory. The Parliament rejected amendment 6, which would have set the 2050 target at 90 per cent, so it might well also reject a 4.5 per cent annual target.

We also have an opportunity to ensure that the 3 per cent target is brought forward, so that we do not have to wait until 2020 before it comes into effect. Members who are not convinced that we can achieve 3 per cent in the first couple of years can support amendment 12, which would remove section 3(2)(b).

We have supported a steeper and more ambitious trajectory. We will fail to achieve that trajectory unless we improve the annual targets. I urge members to be as bold as they can be.

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Stewart Stevenson (Scottish National Party)

The amendments in my name in group 3 are concerned with correcting drafting anomalies and inconsistencies that have crept into the bill as a result of amendments at stage 2. Section 18A introduced the concept of periods of individual net Scottish emissions accounts, rather than an overall net Scottish emissions account that would have covered the entire period from 2010 to 2030. The approach more accurately reflected the concepts that are enshrined in the bill.

Amendment 13 will amend section 3(2)(b) to refer to multiple net Scottish emissions accounts, rather than to a single account. Amendment 14 will extend the scope of an amendment that Des McNulty made at stage 2, so that the annual targets for 2011 to 2019 are set at amounts that are consistent with achieving the 2050 target as well as the interim target. Amendment 16 will apply to the annual targets for 2020 to 2050 requirements that are similar to those that section 3(2)(b) applies to the targets for 2011 to 2019.

Amendment 18 will delete section 4(3). I am not seeking to remove the important provision that the Scottish ministers "must ... have regard" to annual targets. The amendments that were agreed to at stage 2, and the amendments that have been lodged at stage 3 in relation to section 3(2) of the bill will require that annual targets be set at amounts that are consistent over time and which will allow the interim target and the 2050 target to be met.

The duty is now stronger than the duty that was in the bill as originally introduced. The requirement in section 4(3) is that, when setting annual targets, ministers "must ... have regard" to the interim target and the 2050 target. However, the duty in section 4(3) has now been superseded. The subsection is therefore unnecessary, and amendment 18 seeks to delete it.

I will now consider the group 3 amendments lodged by Alison McInnes and Patrick Harvie—which I note were not supported in the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee.

The effect of Alison McInnes's amendment 11 would be that the annual target for 2010 was "at least 3%" lower than the estimated emissions for 2009. In a similar way, Patrick Harvie's amendment 17 would include the figure of "4.5%".

As I explained to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee at stage 2, accelerating our annual reductions, from the current average of approximately 1.2 per cent to a figure of 3 per cent or more, is simply not immediately possible. I whole-heartedly agree that we have to build towards the level of annual reductions suggested as soon as possible, but we cannot make it happen overnight.

I will welcome any and all reasonable suggestions as to how we can achieve the reductions in emissions as quickly as possible. We published our climate change delivery plan last week; I have yet to see the plans of the Scottish Green Party or the Liberal Democrats. We will continue to draw on the expert advice of the UK Committee on Climate Change, which will be valuable as we set our annual targets at challenging but realistic levels, designed to meet both the interim and the long-term targets that are set out in the bill.

I am sorry that I will be unable to support amendments 11, 12, 15 and 17.

10:15 am
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Alison McInnes (Liberal Democrat)

I simply repeat that early and sustained action is the sensible way forward. The path that we choose in order to move towards the end point will be important. If we do not go for 3 per cent from the outset, we will face a much harder struggle further down the line.

When the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee was taking evidence on the bill, many representations were made to us about giving a clear message to industry and to our partners in Scotland. Certainty is needed if investment is to flow. That investment, and the green jobs that would be created, would be of great benefit to Scotland at this time. I therefore hope that members will support amendment 11.

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Alasdair Morgan (Scottish National Party)

The question is, that amendment 11 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 2

For: Brown, Robert, Finnie, Ross, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Hume, Jim, McArthur, Liam, McInnes, Alison, Munro, John Farquhar, O'Donnell, Hugh, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Jamie, Tolson, Jim
Against: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Allan, Alasdair, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Claire, Baker, Richard, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Ted, Brown, Gavin, Brown, Keith, Brownlee, Derek, Butler, Bill, Campbell, Aileen, Carlaw, Jackson, Chisholm, Malcolm, Coffey, Willie, Constance, Angela, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Margaret, Don, Nigel, Doris, Bob, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Ferguson, Patricia, FitzPatrick, Joe, Foulkes, George, Fraser, Murdo, Gibson, Kenneth, Gibson, Rob, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Godman, Trish, Goldie, Annabel, Gordon, Charlie, Grahame, Christine, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Harvie, Christopher, Henry, Hugh, Hepburn, Jamie, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Adam, Jamieson, Cathy, Johnstone, Alex, Kelly, James, Kerr, Andy, Kidd, Bill, Lamont, Johann, Lamont, John, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Ken, Martin, Paul, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Stewart, McAveety, Mr Frank, McConnell, Jack, McGrigor, Jamie, McKee, Ian, McKelvie, Christina, McLaughlin, Anne, McLetchie, David, McMahon, Michael, McMillan, Stuart, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Mulligan, Mary, Neil, Alex, Oldfather, Irene, Park, John, Paterson, Gil, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Robison, Shona, Salmond, Alex, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Elizabeth, Somerville, Shirley-Anne, Stevenson, Stewart, Stewart, David, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, John, Thompson, Dave, Watt, Maureen, Welsh, Andrew, White, Sandra, Whitefield, Karen, Whitton, David, Wilson, Bill, Wilson, John

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Alasdair Morgan (Scottish National Party)

The result of the division is: For 18, Against 104, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 11 disagreed to.

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Alasdair Morgan (Scottish National Party)

Amendment 12, in the name of Patrick Harvie, has already been debated with amendment 11. I remind members that if amendment 12 is agreed to, it will pre-empt amendments 13 and 14.

Amendment 12 moved—[Patrick Harvie].

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Alasdair Morgan (Scottish National Party)

The question is, that amendment 12 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 3

For: Brown, Robert, Finnie, Ross, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Hume, Jim, McArthur, Liam, McInnes, Alison, Munro, John Farquhar, O'Donnell, Hugh, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Jamie, Tolson, Jim
Against: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Allan, Alasdair, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Claire, Baker, Richard, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Ted, Brown, Gavin, Brown, Keith, Brownlee, Derek, Butler, Bill, Campbell, Aileen, Carlaw, Jackson, Chisholm, Malcolm, Coffey, Willie, Constance, Angela, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Margaret, Don, Nigel, Doris, Bob, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Ferguson, Patricia, FitzPatrick, Joe, Foulkes, George, Fraser, Murdo, Gibson, Kenneth, Gibson, Rob, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Gordon, Charlie, Grahame, Christine, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Harvie, Christopher, Henry, Hugh, Hepburn, Jamie, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Adam, Jamieson, Cathy, Johnstone, Alex, Kelly, James, Kerr, Andy, Kidd, Bill, Lamont, Johann, Lamont, John, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Ken, Martin, Paul, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Stewart, McAveety, Mr Frank, McConnell, Jack, McGrigor, Jamie, McKee, Ian, McKelvie, Christina, McLaughlin, Anne, McLetchie, David, McMahon, Michael, McMillan, Stuart, McNeil, Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Mulligan, Mary, Neil, Alex, Oldfather, Irene, Park, John, Paterson, Gil, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Robison, Shona, Salmond, Alex, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Elizabeth, Somerville, Shirley-Anne, Stevenson, Stewart, Stewart, David, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, John, Thompson, Dave, Watt, Maureen, Welsh, Andrew, White, Sandra, Whitefield, Karen, Whitton, David, Wilson, Bill, Wilson, John

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Alasdair Morgan (Scottish National Party)

The result of the division is: For 18, Against 103, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 12 disagreed to.

Amendments 13 and 14 moved—[Stewart Stevenson]—and agreed to.

Amendment 15 moved—[Patrick Harvie].

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Alasdair Morgan (Scottish National Party)

The question is, that amendment 15 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 4

For: Brown, Robert, Chisholm, Malcolm, Finnie, Ross, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Hume, Jim, McArthur, Liam, McInnes, Alison, Munro, John Farquhar, O'Donnell, Hugh, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Jamie, Tolson, Jim
Against: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Allan, Alasdair, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Claire, Baker, Richard, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Ted, Brown, Gavin, Brown, Keith, Brownlee, Derek, Butler, Bill, Campbell, Aileen, Carlaw, Jackson, Coffey, Willie, Constance, Angela, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Margaret, Don, Nigel, Doris, Bob, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Ferguson, Patricia, FitzPatrick, Joe, Foulkes, George, Fraser, Murdo, Gibson, Kenneth, Gibson, Rob, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Goldie, Annabel, Gordon, Charlie, Grahame, Christine, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Harvie, Christopher, Henry, Hugh, Hepburn, Jamie, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Adam, Jamieson, Cathy, Johnstone, Alex, Kelly, James, Kerr, Andy, Kidd, Bill, Lamont, Johann, Lamont, John, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Ken, Martin, Paul, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Stewart, McAveety, Mr Frank, McConnell, Jack, McGrigor, Jamie, McKee, Ian, McKelvie, Christina, McLaughlin, Anne, McLetchie, David, McMahon, Michael, McMillan, Stuart, McNeil, Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Mulligan, Mary, Neil, Alex, Oldfather, Irene, Park, John, Paterson, Gil, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Robison, Shona, Salmond, Alex, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Elizabeth, Somerville, Shirley-Anne, Stevenson, Stewart, Stewart, David, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, John, Thompson, Dave, Watt, Maureen, Welsh, Andrew, White, Sandra, Whitefield, Karen, Whitton, David, Wilson, Bill, Wilson, John

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Alasdair Morgan (Scottish National Party)

The result of the division is: For 19, Against 103, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 15 disagreed to.

Amendment 16 moved—[Stewart Stevenson]—and agreed to.

Amendment 17 moved—[Patrick Harvie].

Photo of Alasdair Morgan

Alasdair Morgan (Scottish National Party)

The question is, that amendment 17 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 5

For: Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick
Against: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Allan, Alasdair, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Claire, Baker, Richard, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Ted, Brown, Gavin, Brown, Keith, Brown, Robert, Brownlee, Derek, Butler, Bill, Campbell, Aileen, Carlaw, Jackson, Chisholm, Malcolm, Coffey, Willie, Constance, Angela, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Margaret, Don, Nigel, Doris, Bob, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, FitzPatrick, Joe, Foulkes, George, Fraser, Murdo, Gibson, Kenneth, Gibson, Rob, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Goldie, Annabel, Gordon, Charlie, Grahame, Christine, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Harvie, Christopher, Henry, Hugh, Hepburn, Jamie, Hume, Jim, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Adam, Jamieson, Cathy, Johnstone, Alex, Kelly, James, Kerr, Andy, Kidd, Bill, Lamont, Johann, Lamont, John, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Ken, Martin, Paul, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Stewart, McArthur, Liam, McAveety, Mr Frank, McConnell, Jack, McGrigor, Jamie, McInnes, Alison, McKee, Ian, McKelvie, Christina, McLaughlin, Anne, McLetchie, David, McMahon, Michael, McMillan, Stuart, McNeil, Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Mulligan, Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Neil, Alex, O'Donnell, Hugh, Oldfather, Irene, Park, John, Paterson, Gil, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Robison, Shona, Rumbles, Mike, Salmond, Alex, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Elizabeth, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Somerville, Shirley-Anne, Stephen, Nicol, Stevenson, Stewart, Stewart, David, Stone, Jamie, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, John, Thompson, Dave, Tolson, Jim, Watt, Maureen, Welsh, Andrew, White, Sandra, Whitefield, Karen, Whitton, David, Wilson, Bill, Wilson, John

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Alasdair Morgan (Scottish National Party)

The result of the division is: For 2, Against 120, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 17 disagreed to.