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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 16:01 GMT
Scotland at climate 'crossroads'
Grangemouth
The Scottish Government wants to cut emissions by 80%
Ministers have called for public views on their plans to tackle climate change with an 80% cut in emissions by 2050.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said the country had reached a "crossroads" on deciding in what state to leave the planet to future generations.

Meanwhile, the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) group produced a list of measures to address the issue.

The government aims to bring forward legislation to parliament on its green proposals before the end of the year.

In the meantime, the plans - to be contained in Scotland's first Climate Change Bill - have been released for public consultation.

We need to see clear legal duties for ministers, which parliament can hold them to each year
Patrick Harvie
Green MSP

The measures also include annual monitoring on progress towards the 80% target and publishing independent advice on reducing emissions.

Mr Swinney said: "The actions we take today can bring clear and tangible benefits to Scotland now and in the future.

"Moving towards a low carbon economy can create new jobs and improve local environments as part of our drive to generate sustainable economic growth."

The SCCS, an umbrella group for more than 30 organisations, including Friends of the Earth Scotland and the Church of Scotland, said Scotland had the chance to become a "global leader" in the fight against climate change.

Chairman Mike Robinson said: "It is essential that we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 3% every year, and this must be done in a sustainable way that respects our environment."

READ THE CONSULTATION PAPER

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Green MSP Patrick Harvie, who said the 80% cut was a good start, argued that the government was not going far enough and warned that combating climate change meant more than "tinkering" with policies.

"We need to see clear legal duties for ministers, which parliament can hold them to each year, and the right long-term targets," he said.

Scottish and Southern Energy chief executive, Ian Marchant, said it was time to turn rhetoric into reality, adding: "As businessmen and women we know it is challenging to grow our businesses and reduce greenhouse gas emissions but we are determined to do exactly that."

Maf Smith, director of the Sustainable Development Commission Scotland, accused governments across the world of shying away from taking action on climate change.

"The Scottish Government must be commended for its intention to lead the way for other countries," he said.

The government consultation will run until 23 April.

SEE ALSO
Scottish government climate plan
21 Jun 07 |  Scotland
Emission cutting plans announced
21 Jun 07 |  Scotland

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