‘Reprehensible retreat’: fury as Scottish ministers scrap carbon emissions pledge

‘Reprehensible retreat’: fury as Scottish ministers scrap carbon emissions pledge

Climate campaigners have accused Scottish ministers of being “inept” and “short-termist” after they scrapped Scotland’s target to cut carbon emissions by 75% by 2030.

Màiri McAllan, the Scottish net zero secretary, confirmed her government had abandoned that target and would also drop legally binding annual targets on reducing carbon emissions, after damning criticism from a UK advisory committee.

McAllan told MSPs this decision had been heavily influenced by the UK Climate Change Committee, which said last month the 2030 target was “no longer credible” because of inadequate action on home heating, transport, farming and nature restoration by Scottish ministers.

Jamie Livingstone, the head of Oxfam Scotland, said the decision was a “reprehensible retreat caused by [the Scottish government’s] recklessly inadequate level of action to date. With scientists linking deadly heatwaves in west Africa to climate change and Dubai drowning in a deluge of rain, the urgency of climate action couldn’t be clearer.”

McAllan said the Scottish government would quadruple the number of electric vehicle chargers, “explore” a new integrated public transport ticket system, pilot emissions reduction schemes on livestock farms, consult on a new carbon tax for large rural estates, and use rates relief to subsidise green energy for businesses.

Livingstone said these “largely recycled measures represent baby steps forward rather than the giant leaps needed and are a thinly veiled distraction from ministers’ failure to deliver their existing climate commitments”.