Page last updated at 19:14 GMT, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Climate change targets debate

The Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee led a debate on its consideration of the Scottish government's draft report on proposals and policies for meeting its climate change targets, on 13 January 2010.

Transport Committee Convener Patrick Harvie opened the debate by praising the Scottish Parliament for trying to strengthen its climate change targets.

It is something few parliaments around the world would attempt he said, rather they would try to undermine them.

However the committee had concerns about the government's draft report on how to meet its climate change targets (the RPP).

Scotland's world leading targets aim to cut 42% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and 80% by 2050.

The Scottish government's draft RPP distinguishes a voluntary approach from a regulatory one when looking at ways to incentivise businesses and the public to take up the environmental changes they propose.

Mr Harvie called on the government to give clear guidance on what would constitute failure when a voluntary approach was adopted.

This he said was crucial, if parliamentarians were to know when to intervene and look at alternative solutions to ensure they still met their targets in time.

Environment minister Roseanna Cunningham assured him a monitoring group was being put in place to ensure such a measure.

The costs attached to the government's plans for delivering Scotland's targets also raised concerns.

Mr Harvie said there was little point in ministers setting targets if their budgets did not support them.

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