Green Recovery Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th February 2021.

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Photo of Maurice Golden Maurice Golden Conservative

I would like to make some progress in what is a relatively short speech.

The committee’s report mentions “consistent and significant concerns” over policy implementation, and Friends of the Earth goes so far as to say that the SNP’s climate change plan “doesn’t add up”. To put it simply, there have been significant failures on numerous environmental targets and promises. I do not doubt the good intentions of ministers but—to borrow a phrase—the facts are the facts. Just look at the list of targets that the SNP has missed—it has failed to meet the targets on emissions, household recycling, fuel poverty, renewable heat and creating 28,000 green jobs.

However, that record gets worse because, in many areas, progress is not happening and things are going backwards. Source emissions increased between 2017 and 2018, the recycling rate is worse now than it was in 2016, and the SNP is turning Scotland into the ashtray of Europe in that our incineration capacity is up by almost 400 per cent. That final statistic suggests that the SNP has abandoned the use of biostabilisation of waste. Numerous studies show that biostabilisation before landfilling is the lowest-carbon option for residual waste.