Page last updated at 18:28 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

New green targets 'best in world'

The Scottish Government wants to cut emissions by 80%

New environmental laws will put Scotland at the forefront of global climate change action, the Scottish Government has said.

The new legislation will target emissions from international aviation and shipping, as well as all six greenhouse gases.

Ministers claim it will be the most ambitious global warming legislation in the world.

The proposals have been welcomed by environmental campaigners.

The measures were first announced at the recent SNP conference.

"The Scottish Government has always been clear that Scotland will play a leading role in the international fight against climate change," Finance Secretary John Swinney said.

What the Scottish Government is promising amounts to the best climate change legislation in the world
Richard Dixon
WWF Scotland

He added: "I was delighted to hear last week that the UK Government will move to equal the Scottish Government's position of an 80% reduction in emissions.

"However, the Scottish bill will go even further."

Mr Swinney said the decision to include aviation and shipping was a "bold" move.

"Scotland benefits greatly from international trade and travel and we believe it is right to take responsibility for the Scottish share of these emissions," he added.

The proposed bill will establish a legal framework for emissions reductions in the run up to 2050.

'Ambitious steps'

More than 21,000 responses were received during a consultation on draft legislation.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie welcomed the announcement as "a great day for environmental campaigners".

Mr Harvie said: "Legislation without annual targets would have let ministers off the hook on climate change.

"Annual targets are the only effective way to hold governments to account, and this u-turn means the final climate change bill will now almost certainly have teeth."

Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said: "What the Scottish Government is promising amounts to the best climate change legislation in the world."

Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, added: "The global community will only succeed in preventing dangerous climate change if richer nations demonstrate ambitious steps to cut emissions swiftly."

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