Scotland makes carbon call on Climate Accord deadline day

by Search Gate staff. Published Sun 31 Jan 2010 00:06
Scottish Parliament is setting ambitious carbon targets

A committment to agree legally-binding international cuts in carbon emissions is vital to prevent dangerous climate change, WWF Scotland said today.

The environmental group made the call on the deadline day for nations to sign-up to an international climate accord. The "Copenhagen Accord" asks countries to submit figures by the end of January on how much they will curb emissions.

WWF Scotland called on nations to up their ambition and follow Scotland’s lead, committing to the strongest possible targets in order to help keep global temperature rises below 2C.

The group’s call for internationally agreed targets was also backed by some of Scotland’s leading companies - including SSE, Allied Vehicles and Aquamarine Power - who believe that strong targets provide the right investment framework for growing business and spurring environmental innovation.

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland said: “During the talks in Copenhagen, Scotland had a strong prescence and did a great job of promoting our ambitious and world leading 42 percent target to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“Now over a month after the talks ended, we need world leaders to go beyond what was on the table in Copenhagen and bring forward targets that ensure we don’t go beyond the 2C danger threashhold for dangerous climate change.

“Scotland’s business sector is in a great position to be able to plan ahead because of our strong domestic climate legislation. Our commitment to tackle climate change means we are at the forefront of the new low carbon global economy. By creating a clear set of priorities and the right investment framework our climate change act ensures Scotland is an increasingly attractive place for the companies of the future to set up shop today.”

Ian Marchant, Chief Executive of Scottish and Southern Energy and Convener of the recently established 2020 Group in Scotland said: “There is no doubt that the longer we leave till we act on climate change, the more difficult and costly it will be to deal with it.

“Equally, those who lead the way stand to benefit most from the new economic opportunities. That is the position Scotland is in – and the decision to go for a 42% cut in emissions by 2020 is not only the responsible one, it is the right one for the economy and for the people who live in Scotland. That Scotland has chosen to lead the leading pack sends an important signal to others across the world and I hope they are inspired by it.

“Tackling climate change should be a race to the top, not the lowest common denominator.”

Allied Electric's Managing Director, Paul Nelson, said: "Setting strong, clear targets helps companies like Allied Electric plan for the future. There is a real potential for many new jobs in delivering on Scotland’s ambitious climate change legislation. As long as there are support mechanisms in place to help deliver on those targets then companies will invest.

“The use of electric vehicles is paramount to the reduction of carbon emissions, these vehicles produce zero emissions in congested city centres and fewer emissions overall.

"EV’s can also be powered by green energy sources meaning there’s an opportunity for Scotland to become a leader in the production of electricity from renewable sources and using this power to operate electric vehicles.”

Martin McAdam, CEO of wave energy developer Aquamarine Power said: “Finding solutions to the threat of climate change is perhaps the defining challenge facing the developed world, and by committing to ambitious targets, Scotland has shown real leadership on a global stage. This has been backed up with a clear ambition and policies to build a low-carbon economy based on existing and new renewable technologies, including wave and tidal.

“This combination – of ambitious targets and support for green industry – shows that climate change is not just a threat, but also an opportunity for forward-thinking governments to build new industries and change the way in which their economies work. Scotland has taken a lead which we would urge other nations to follow – ultimately, countries with low carbon economies will be the economic power-houses of the future.”

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