Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 4:41 pm on 28th May 2008.

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Photo of Sarah Boyack Sarah Boyack Labour 4:41 pm, 28th May 2008

Today has demonstrated that a subject debate does not have to be a debate with no bite. This has been a good debate and there have been many interesting exchanges around the chamber. We are all way past the point of agreeing that we need to tackle climate change; the key thing is how we do it. It has been interesting to focus on the process and the policies today.

I will not be the first person in the chamber to say that, so far, the SNP has been a big disappointment. As Liam McArthur said, it is not enough to talk the talk on climate change; the Government must also walk the walk. In the briefings that we have all received today, we can see the disappointment that various organisations feel. Most of them are too polite to say that the SNP has dumped its big idea, which was to have a binding annual target of a 3 per cent reduction in emissions, which is what is needed if we are to meet the 80 per cent target.

I will deal with Patrick Harvie's point directly. Our criticism is that, in the election campaign just over a year ago, many of us took part in hustings debates in which the SNP candidates waxed lyrical about the party's twin policies of an 80 per cent reduction and a binding annual target of a 3 per cent reduction in emissions.