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Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Mr Mark Ruskell Mr Mark Ruskell Green

That is disappointing from Mr Carson. Did he not listen to any of the evidence that was given to the committee? The nature of the crisis demands an emergency response. Mr Carson’s party might be happy with this weak legislation, but my party is not.

Let me get back to action, because we need to talk about the action that comes from the bill. A just transition commission should be at the heart of a Scottish green new deal to plan new regional strategies to rebuild and reindustrialise communities in a low-carbon age. Instead, it has been left to the Green and Labour parties in the Parliament to try desperately to amend the bill to give it the tools that it needs on transition. As a result, we are left with virtually nothing. Monitoring reports and principles in plans will not create the lasting change that is needed in the Fife communities that I represent.

We will not stand in the way of the small steps of progress that have been made through the bill, but we will not endorse a bill that is preoccupied with distant targets but does nothing to deliver transformative action and does not go far enough for the critical period of the next 10 years. Time is running out and, although the targets in the bill are eye-catching, they are not backed by anything that suggests that the status quo is being challenged. When we look back at the bill in the years to come, we will see missed opportunities to drive strong progress, but there will be no time machine to call on. It is Government’s job to lead and to deliver the change that is necessary. If we do not see that necessary change, politics and democracy will have failed.