Some people think that subject debates of this nature are not very productive, but I welcome this debate being programmed for today, because we should have the opportunity to discuss the general issues surrounding climate change before the publication of the results of the consultation and of the bill later this year.
Many people might be surprised to discover that the Conservatives have become a party with genuine green credentials. The Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament have supported the measures that have been taken so far. However, as we move towards the publication of a bill, I take this important opportunity to restate in Parliament some of the things that I have stated privately to the minister and others.
The target of an 80 per cent reduction in emissions of climate change gases was, in the eyes of many, ambitious; nevertheless, it may yet also be adopted by the Westminster Parliament. Some of us suspected that the reason for that higher target was political competitiveness, but it has been proved to us since that, in the system that we have, Scotland's potential to generate progress and the baseline from which it comes are different enough to justify separate Scottish legislation.