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Although the UK Government’s proposals for an office for environmental protection fell with its Environment Bill when Parliament was dissolved, the Tories have committed in their manifesto to establish such an office, the remit of which—at no notice—was expanded to include issues to do with climate change.
At the moment, the extent of the powers that the UK Government seeks to draw into that is unclear. The Scottish Government will not accept any attempt to pull devolved powers over climate change, air quality or water quality into the remit of that office. However, we need the UK Government to step up to the plate and act on the matters that it is responsible for to help Scotland to reach net zero by 2045, which the UK Committee on Climate Change was clear will be necessary if we are to achieve our targets.