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Seòmar agus comataidhean

Meeting of the Parliament [Draft]

Meeting date: Thursday, April 18, 2024


Climate Change Committee Scotland Report

The Presiding Officer (Alison Johnstone)

The next item of business is a statement by Màiri McAllan on the Climate Change Committee Scotland report—next steps. Before we move to that item, I wish to make the following remarks. Important aspects of this afternoon’s statement have been reported in various media outlets. When the Government chooses to share information pertaining to any ministerial statement in advance of that statement being made, the Government remains responsible for ensuring that such information is not reported by the media before the Parliament learns of it. I have spoken to the Minister for Parliamentary Business, and I have asked for the Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy to apologise to the Parliament for the breach of our long-established good-practice guidance on announcements.

The Parliament will be aware that I have previously disallowed or truncated statements. However, the information that has been reported in the press today is key to actions that may impact on legislation in the Parliament and on the way in which the Government is held accountable by the Parliament. Additionally, there is information in the statement that has not been previously reported. For those reasons, and as I do not wish to disadvantage other members, I intend to allow the statement to be made, but I remind the Government in the strongest terms possible that this Parliament must be given its proper place.


The Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy (Màiri McAllan)

Please allow me to begin by setting out my regret and my apology to you, Presiding Officer, and to the Parliament for the media speculation that has surrounded the content of my statement. I regret it because I take very seriously the integrity of the Parliament and the Presiding Officer’s role within that. It has also made it more difficult for me to communicate something that requires careful, nuanced and detailed communication. I have asked the permanent secretary to conduct an internal investigation into the circumstances as a matter of urgency.

The race to net zero is one that we must all win, and I begin by affirming the Government’s unwavering commitment to ending our contribution to global emissions by 2045 at the latest, as agreed by Parliament on a cross-party basis. I was grateful for the latest report from the Climate Change Committee on our progress in reducing emissions. The CCC is a key partner in our net zero journey, and its insights are essential. Its report recognised that there is much to be proud of, including the Government’s provision of free bus travel to all under-22s, our work to deliver more woodland in Scotland in a year than the other nations of the United Kingdom combined and our work on decarbonising heat in buildings—noting that it could be a template for the rest of the UK. Considerable progress is also being made in energy. Scotland is becoming a renewables powerhouse, with 87.9 per cent of electricity generation coming from zero-carbon or low-carbon sources in 2022.

Those are just some of the examples of the considerable work that has been undertaken, which brings us nearly halfway to net zero—narrowly missing our most recent annual emissions reduction target, but still decarbonising faster than the UK average. Quite rightly, however, and just as with the UK Government, the CCC challenges us to go further, and that is exactly what we will do. Today, I am announcing a new package of climate action measures, which we will deliver with partners to support Scotland’s just transition to net zero.

The global transition to zero-emission vehicles is happening apace—indeed, major car manufacturers have named the day when they will cease manufacturing new petrol and diesel vehicles. Scotland has long been at the forefront of helping people to make the transition to electric vehicles, but we will now go further by working in partnership to more than quadruple the number of electric vehicle charge points across Scotland.

Through collaboration across the public and private sectors, Scotland will see approximately 24,000 additional charge points by 2030. That will help to ease any remaining range anxiety that people might feel and ensure that going electric is an option in every part of our nation.

To make public transport fit better with people’s lives and to encourage all of us to choose more sustainable transport, we will also explore a new national integrated ticketing system for public transport in Scotland. We will encourage and support operators across all modes of transport to participate in that project, which aims to enable passengers to use one ticketing system for all elements of a journey.

We will help people to be less reliant on cars and we will publish a route map to help deliver a 20 per cent reduction in car use. That will not be a one-size-fits-all or top-down approach. We understand that urban Scotland and rural Scotland will contribute differently, and our just transition plan for transport will ensure support for all communities.

Turning to other vehicles, we will support the transition away from petrol and diesel vans. Working with business, including the largest companies for an initial phase and in line with our new deal for business principles, we will develop plans and support mechanisms to accelerate the switch to zero-emission technologies and more sustainable modes. We understand the importance of that transition to small businesses and independent traders in particular, and we will ensure that their needs are at the heart of the work.

Scotland’s food and drink is a significant national success story, and food security is important to the Government. That is why we are supporting our farming community to continue producing food while lowering emissions. The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands is working with the sector to deliver that, including through the on-going Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill and the agriculture reform implementation oversight board, which she co-chairs with NFU Scotland. However, we want to do more to support our agricultural sector to lead the way in regenerative farming and food production.

That is why we will take forward a pilot scheme with some Scottish farms to establish future appropriate uptake of methane-suppressing feed products or additives, which is a key measure to reduce emissions from livestock where practical. Some of those additives are being pioneered here in Scotland, so we look forward to working on that home-grown innovation.

By 2028 at the latest, proportionate carbon audits will also be required by farms that receive public support. Nutrient management plans will build on that and will be integrated into whole-farm plans.

We will also accelerate our regional land use partnerships, with up to three new areas coming into the initiative over the next year, while recognising that successful partnerships are those that are driven by communities.

To further accelerate peatland restoration, we will investigate how partial rewetting can coexist with continued agricultural activity and access to agricultural support, including investing up to £1 million in pilot projects. This summer, we will launch a consultation on a carbon land tax on the largest estates, as part of considering regulatory and fiscal measures that could further incentivise peatland restoration, afforestation and renewable energy production.

We are also considering the recommendation from the green heat finance task force to review and publish, by the end of the year, analysis of how non-domestic rates relief can better support our climate ambitions and encourage investment in energy efficiency and clean heating systems. That will be developed by working closely with the business community, in line with new deal for business principles.

Scotland is distinguished by the importance that we place on a just transition. We will publish our final energy strategy and just transition plan this summer, to be followed by draft plans for agriculture, transport, buildings and construction. Moreover, following the publication of a just transition plan for Grangemouth, I can confirm today that we will co-develop a just transition plan for Mossmorran.

Those policies again emphasise the critical role that Scottish businesses and industry play in our net zero transformation, and we will work closely with them throughout delivery.

To reflect on the recent Audit Scotland report on climate change governance, we will redouble efforts to ensure that net zero is fully considered in our workforce, spending, policy development and structures. That will start with the full roll-out of a net zero assessment in the Scottish Government from the end of 2024.

To ensure that spending across the public sector reflects our net zero ambitions, we will work with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, including through our climate delivery framework, to understand wider public sector spend and opportunities for action.

Finally, we will propose the establishment of a four nations climate response group, with a remit that includes climate financing and the balance of reserved and devolved powers.

Those policies sit alongside extensive on-going work and will be built on through our next climate change plan and our green industrial strategy. With that ambitious new package, I will allow there to be no doubt about the seriousness with which the Government treats the climate and nature crises and about our readiness to act to deliver. We must, however, acknowledge that we do so in difficult circumstances. The Climate Change Committee is clear that the UK is already substantially off track for 2030 and that achieving future UK carbon budgets will

“require a sustained increase in the pace and breadth of decarbonisation across most major sectors.”

Indeed, we see climate backtracking at UK level. With severe budgetary restrictions imposed by the UK Government, and under the continuing constraints of devolution, we are trying to achieve societal and economic transformation with one hand tied behind our back. Such is the UK’s unprecedented economic mismanagement that full delivery of our plans will be contingent on the UK Government reversing the 9 per cent cut to our capital budget.

This Government and this Parliament have—rightly—high ambitions. It is beyond doubt that investing now in net zero is the right thing for our environment, our society and our economy, but we are being held back. I am asking MSPs from across the chamber to work with us to call on the UK Government to reverse Scotland’s capital cut.

Although Opposition members rightly demand that the Scottish Government must take urgent action to address the climate crisis, if they are serious about that challenge, they must now stand with us in support of today’s policy package and the remainder of the work that we are taking forward across this year and the coming years, instead of opposing the measures that we propose.

In the challenging context of cuts and UK backtracking, we accept the CCC’s recent rearticulation that this Parliament’s interim 2030 target is out of reach. We must now act to chart a course to 2045 at a pace and on a scale that are feasible, fair and just. With that in mind, I confirm that, working with Parliament on a timetable, the Scottish Government will introduce expedited legislation to address matters that the CCC raised and to ensure that our legislative framework better reflects the reality of long-term climate policy making. The narrowly drawn bill will retain our legal commitment to 2045, alongside annual reporting on progress, while introducing a target approach that is based on five-yearly carbon budgets.

With our legal commitment to reach net zero by 2045 steadfastly remaining and recommitted to today, and with Scotland’s emissions already nearly cut in half, we are well positioned to continue to lead on climate action that is fair, ambitious and capable of rising to the emergency that is before us. This Government will not yield to climate culture wars. We will never shirk our duty to those who are impacted by climate change today and to future generations. Together, we know that we can tackle the crisis with the pace and the urgency that are required. Indeed, with the very minor legislative amendments that I am proposing today, we will pave the way for continued ambition and pragmatic delivery on this most important challenge.

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Annabelle Ewing)

The cabinet secretary will now take questions on the issues raised in her statement. I intend to allow around 20 minutes for questions, after which we will move on to the next item of business. I ask members who wish to ask a question to press their request-to-speak buttons.

Douglas Lumsden (North East Scotland) (Con)

I thank the BBC for advance sight of the cabinet secretary’s statement. It is a shame that the Government continues to show such contempt for this Parliament. When we saw the news last night that the Scottish Government was scrapping its climate targets, we all knew what was going to be in the cabinet secretary’s statement—a lot of smoke and mirrors, rehashing of announcements and the Government blaming everyone else for its own failure.

Let us be crystal clear that the key areas of emissions—transport, housing and agriculture—are all devolved. The announcement is an absolute humiliation for the Scottish National Party, but it is even more humiliating for the Greens, who have ditched environmentalism for nationalism.

In December last year, the cabinet secretary told the Parliament that world leaders were approaching the Scottish Government for advice on tackling climate change, but we never found out who was calling. I bet that her phone is silent now.

Will the cabinet secretary confirm the timetable for introducing legislation and when we will see the climate change plan? Will she also confirm that the new annual reporting on progress will have no legally committed targets?

We look forward to your support in all this.

Support for what?

Màiri McAllan rose—

Cabinet secretary, excuse me.

The tone of the discussion on the statement will not proceed like that. We have important business to get through.

Màiri McAllan

There is more than a hint of hypocrisy in Douglas Lumsden’s contribution. The truth of the matter is that the Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament voted for the climate targets—principally the 75 per cent target for 2030—but they have stood in the way of even modest measures that we have sought to bring forward in order to realise those targets. The Conservatives have opposed low-emission zones in city centres, which is a prime intervention to improve air quality. They have worked relentlessly to cease the progress on the deposit return scheme. They now oppose heating standards and our efforts to tackle some of the most problematic emissions in Scotland.

Meanwhile, their colleagues in the UK Government are fighting to open coal mines in England, are failing to deploy onshore and offshore wind, and—inexplicably—refusing to progress carbon capture, utilisation and storage in Scotland. As I say, there is more than a hint of hypocrisy.

As regards the very short question on the timetable of the bill that was at the end of Douglas Lumsden’s narration, I will work hard with the Parliament to put in place a timetable. It will be expedited and, when that legislation is brought forward, it will speak to the climate change plan and the annual reporting of targets.

Thank you.

I advise Mr Lumsden that he had one minute and 30 seconds to raise his issues. I call Sarah Boyack.

Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Lab)

Thank you, Deputy Presiding Officer. I note the comments that both you and the Presiding Officer have made about the statement.

Thursday 18 April 2024 will go down as the day that Scotland officially went from being a world leader in climate targets to a world leader in scrapping targets. Ambitious targets were not backed up by ambitious action. The Climate Change Committee identified 19 policy areas where the SNP-Green Government has no plan, has an insufficient plan or needs to take action to meet the target of net zero by 2045. Can the cabinet secretary clarify whether any interim targets and legal reporting will be ditched in the bill that she mentioned?

She made a series of announcements about upcoming work, but can we get the timescale and the publication dates for all the delayed strategies—the climate change plan, the green industrial strategy, the energy strategy and just transition plan, and the draft set of plans for agriculture, construction and transport? We are still waiting for publication dates for those.

Can the cabinet secretary clarify what action the Scottish Government will now take to deliver affordable rail services and to support local authorities to provide bus services that people can use—rather than having hundreds more of those services cut—so that constituents can make low-carbon, affordable public transport choices?

When I launched the first climate statement in the early days of the Parliament, I reflected on the worst flooding in living memory in southern African states. We are now seeing regular extreme flooding in Scotland. Will the cabinet secretary commit to annual reporting on climate change so that we do not lose the momentum and the proper parliamentary scrutiny that we need in order to work together to tackle the climate crisis?

Màiri McAllan

As regards annual reporting, I point Sarah Boyack to the section in my statement where I confirmed that that would be retained as part of the wider move to carbon budgeting. I will bring forward more detail on the legislation when it is introduced to Parliament.

I understand the disappointment. I am disappointed myself; my team and I have worked exceptionally hard not to have to make the change that we are making today. However, let us not overplay what is being done. This is a minor legislative amendment restating our 2045 goal but recasting the trajectory in line with what our independent advisers in the Climate Change Committee advise is achievable.

When we passed the previous climate legislation, Sarah Boyack and every party across the chamber understood the CCC’s view that the 75 per cent target was likely to be beyond what was achievable. We hope that the efforts of the Government to correct that now, with a narrow bill, will pave the way for the continued delivery and action that we have sought to demonstrate in previous years.

Ben Macpherson (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (SNP)

In an answer to a freedom of information request that was published in autumn last year, it was stated by the Scottish Government that, according to recent statistics,

“Scotland’s carbon dioxide emissions represent around 0.1% of global emissions”.

Therefore, in playing our active part to tackle the climate emergency, we must have perspective and be honest about the fact that any Scottish actions to try to prevent climate change can only ever be a very small—if worthwhile—part of a much bigger global challenge.

In that context, does the cabinet secretary agree that it is important to acknowledge that Scotland is already going further and faster than many other comparable countries in our efforts to reduce emissions and innovate, and that today’s statement confirms that we will purposefully continue to do so with ambition and credibility? Does the cabinet secretary agree that we must collectively appreciate the economic, social and health benefits of taking actions to reduce emissions and that they are at least as important as any positive environmental impacts that the measures towards net zero might have?

Màiri McAllan

On the first part of Ben Macpherson’s question, which I do not disagree with at all, I say that Scotland alone cannot solve the world’s problems when it comes to climate change. However, the world’s problems will not be solved without countries such as Scotland playing their fullest part, which is exactly what this Government intends to do.

In 2019, the Parliament agreed, right across party lines, to a highly ambitious set of targets. As I have said, we were advised at the time that, as far as the CCC could see, there was no clear path to achieving them. I do not think that that was necessarily a bad thing, because it has driven ambition and action in the period since. We have also learned many lessons from the targets, including on harsh winters that affect annual targets, which do not necessarily reflect how emissions reduction occurs over a longer period of time.

I absolutely agree with Ben Macpherson that our journey to net zero must be delivered in a fair and just way and along a pathway that aligns with expert guidance and advice. That is why I am announcing this package of measures, which sits alongside the bold plans that we already had for this year, and it is why I am making a narrow amendment to the climate legislation as it stands, so that we can continue to pursue that progress.

Graham Simpson (Central Scotland) (Con)

This is an admission of failure. I am astonished that the two Green Party ministers have not resigned in disgust, but there they are, sat on the front bench. The cabinet secretary describes—[Interruption.] I cannot even hear myself talk.

Mr Simpson, please resume your seat. Mr Swinney, please refrain from doing that. We need to make progress, have the questions and hear the responses. Please resume, Mr Simpson.

Ah, so it was Mr Swinney. That was a lot of hot air from Mr Swinney.

Mr Simpson, please just resume your question.

Graham Simpson

The cabinet secretary talks about a minor legislative amendment, but targets were set in the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019. The requirement to have a climate change plan, which is now overdue, was also in the act. What will remain in the act, following what the cabinet secretary describes as a minor legislative amendment?

Màiri McAllan

It is the intention of the Government that the vast majority of what is in the act will be retained, subject to the changes that I have set out today, which coalesce principally around the 2030 target and annual targets. However, as I have said, I intend to seek to take the bill forward on an expedited basis. I will work with the Parliament on that timetable and on the content of the bill.

Jackie Dunbar (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)

The Government’s plans and ambitions require sufficient resource to be realised. Our climate targets and how we go about realising them cannot be discussed or considered in isolation from the wider UK context. What will the cabinet secretary do to reiterate to the UK Government that it must reverse the swingeing cuts that it has imposed on Scotland in order for us to fully realise our ambitions for climate and nature?

Màiri McAllan

There is absolutely no doubt that the limits of devolution—as well as other matters, including technological advance—are a hindrance to what we seek to do, which is to institute the economic and societal transformation that the climate emergency demands of us.

As I said in my statement, the budgetary restrictions that have been imposed by the UK Government—in particular, the up to 9 per cent cut to our capital budget—are devastating for our ambitions on climate change.

I call on MSPs across the chamber to join us in calling on the UK Government to reverse Scotland’s capital cut so that we can invest in the kind of infrastructure that countries across the world are investing in. I point to the Inflation Reduction Act in the US and similar schemes that the European Union is progressing. I highlight the absolute absence of such plans at UK level from the current incumbent Government and, equally, from the Labour Party, which is seeking to enter number 10, having just ditched its green investment pledge of £28 billion.

Colin Smyth (South Scotland) (Lab)

Does the cabinet secretary understand that she can add yet more plans and strategies to the 82 that we have already had, but it is the Government’s actions that have led to today’s humiliating—not minor—ditching of targets?

Let us take the example of woodland creation, which the Climate Change Committee has said needs to double. Despite that, the Government has halved the budget for woodland creation this month. Does the cabinet secretary believe that such action will increase or decrease woodland creation, or will we simply be talking about yet another missed target?

Màiri McAllan

Colin Smyth talks about plans, strategies and action, but that is what delivery is made from. It does not come from what Colin Smyth and his party do, which is to turn up in the chamber, vote for targets and then fail to back even modest measures that the Government brings forward to try to institute them.

In recent years, this Government has delivered some extremely ambitious policies. Colin Smyth mentioned forestry; 75 per cent of all the new forests that have been created in the UK in recent years have been created in Scotland. We are investing a quarter of a billion pounds in peatland restoration and £65 million in nature restoration. [Interruption.] Thirty-seven per cent of our waters are in marine protected areas, and my colleagues are taking forward a biodiversity strategy. [Interruption.] It is very easy to be Colin Smyth. It is much more difficult—

Please resume your seat, cabinet secretary. Members need to have the courtesy and respect to listen to the cabinet secretary’s response.

I was going to go on to say that it is much more difficult to be those who are responsible for delivery, but that is exactly what this Government is committed to.

John Swinney (Perthshire North) (SNP)

Given the degree to which many of the practical changes that will require to be made in order for us to achieve our climate targets are often contested or are the subject of criticism and are frequently resisted by some members of Parliament, what significance does the cabinet secretary attach to efforts to overcome those obstacles by working with local community-driven initiatives, such as the one that she visited in my constituency yesterday, where people are coming together in Dunkeld and Birnam to encourage real commitment to climate action in their own community? Does that not offer us more hope than the hot air and empty rhetoric that we have heard from the Opposition today?

Màiri McAllan

It absolutely does. I know—and I am sure that my colleagues will feel the same way—from the engagement that we have with people who care about this issue across the country that the magnitude of the climate crisis can often make us feel that, as individuals, we cannot contribute and cannot make a difference, but that is not the case. Examples such as the Climate Café initiative that was born in Dunkeld and Birnam and which I visited yesterday exemplify how action that is driven from the ground up is happening all across Scotland and is making a considerable difference in the all-of-Scotland, all-of-Government, all-of-business and all-of-society challenge that we face.

Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western) (LD)

What the cabinet secretary describes as a minor legislative amendment is, in fact, a monstrous generational betrayal by the SNP and its Green partners. It is a cynical attempt to dodge bad press by simply abolishing the climate change targets that they have repeatedly missed.

For years, we have had to endure smug lectures from nationalist ministers about how Scotland was a world leader on climate targets, but they have never delivered on the hard graft of insulating homes, making transport cleaner or creating green jobs. They are incapable of getting even the basics right, because their nationalism has always trumped their environmentalism. Given the botched recycling schemes, the rail fare hikes and the bus service cuts, is there anywhere else on the planet where Greens in government have torched climate targets for a seat at the table?

Màiri McAllan

Alex Cole-Hamilton’s faux outrage in the chamber today is utterly true to form and he deserves an Oscar for his contribution. A number of weeks ago, he sat with me and colleagues, at our invitation, in Bute house and listened to the Climate Change Committee giving us a factual lecture and update on the state of play regarding climate. Two key points were made: that a 75 per cent reduction by 2030 was always regarded as pushing the limits of what was possible; and that annual targets and the measuring thereof do not necessarily reflect how long-term emissions happen. He knows that, yet he plays up in the chamber today.

I say to Alex Cole-Hamilton that the twin crises of climate change and nature loss are too important for people like him to politicise. Scotland remains a world leader on climate change: the 2045 target is absolutely steadfast and we are already almost halfway to net zero with a significant number of plans in place to continue that journey.

I advise members that we need more succinct questions and answers.

Maggie Chapman (North East Scotland) (Green)

Decades of inaction have brought us to this point. Today must be a pivotal moment in our fight against the climate emergency and for a liveable future. We might have come half way, but that is the easy part. Decarbonising our homes, transitioning to regenerative zero-carbon farming, addressing transport emissions and transforming our economy are the challenges ahead.

Although the Scottish Government is making progress, we must go further and move faster, and today’s package of measures to accelerate action will help make that happen. Does the cabinet secretary agree that blocking climate action for the sake of opposition, or because of vested interests, is not good enough and that Labour and the Tories must stop the hypocrisy and get behind the climate acceleration package?

Màiri McAllan

I absolutely agree with Maggie Chapman. As I said at the beginning of my statement, we must all win the race to net zero, but we will not get there with some of the hypocrisy that is being demonstrated today. I have already said that you will never hear me say, as net zero secretary, that Scotland is yet doing enough. Frankly, I do not think that any country in the world will be able to say that until we have reached net zero.

That is why we need communities across Scotland, business and industry, the third sector, our local authorities and members from across the chamber to unite and put in the hard yards to support actions that deliver emissions reduction. I absolutely agree that it is time for the opposition to stop the hypocrisy, unite across the chamber and get behind today’s policy package, instead of standing in the way of the measures that we seek to bring forward for emissions reduction in Scotland.

Elena Whitham (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)

Regrettably, the cross-party consensus that existed both here and at Westminster in 2019 has evaporated. We thought that the UK Government was going to act in lock step with us on emissions, but it has failed to do so and has even rowed back on key policies. Does that not show the limits of devolution? Given the existential threat that we are facing, how can the cabinet secretary support all of us here to push for the changes that we need to see right across all these islands and globally?

Màiri McAllan

Elena Whitham is absolutely right. I hope that we can reconvene the cross-party consensus that existed in the past but which has been eroded in recent times. She is also absolutely right that it does no one any favours to underplay the scale of what is required to tackle climate change. I have spoken about transformation, but we are trying to do that as a devolved Government that does not have powers over oil and gas licensing, CCUS or the long-overdue grid upgrade that is required right across the country and which does not have the ability to change vehicle excise duty or to make other interventions that encourage different transport behaviours.

I will seek to address that through the commitment that I made in my statement to a four-nations climate response. I will be seeking co-operation across the UK and will try to encourage colleagues of whatever colour at UK Government level to join us in that.

Maurice Golden (North East Scotland) (Con)

Having abandoned the 2030 net zero target, the SNP-Green Government needs to prove that this is not the beginning of a general retreat on climate policy. We need no more warm words and no more blaming non-decision makers for decisions that the Scottish Government has made.

Sustainable consumption and behaviour change will be key to meeting our net zero targets, yet neither received a mention in the statement. What transformational action is being taken in those two important areas?

Presiding Officer, I am afraid that I did not catch the last part of Maurice Golden’s question. Will he repeat it?

Mr Golden, will you please repeat the end of your question?

Maurice Golden

Sustainable consumption and behaviour change will be key to meeting our net zero targets, yet neither received a mention in the statement. What transformational action is being taken in those two important areas?

Màiri McAllan

I thank Maurice Golden and apologise to him for not catching that.

The statement and the additional policies that were announced are not intended to represent an exhaustive list. They sit atop everything else that this Government is taking forward this year and will take forward in coming years. To answer Maurice Golden’s question, I point him, as just one example, to the Circular Economy (Scotland) Bill and the waste route map that my colleague Lorna Slater is taking through Parliament.

I really urge Maurice Golden and his colleagues to think very carefully about the hypocrisy that they are demonstrating today. They know the actions—or, frankly, the inactions—of their colleagues at Westminster, and they must also know how frequently they have stood up in this chamber and opposed measures that this Government has sought to take forward. I challenge them today to put that to bed—[Interruption.]


—and join us in action.

Bob Doris (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (SNP)

To secure the step change in all of our behaviours that is required for us to tackle climate change—including the political behaviour in this place, frankly—we need to be clear about the impact of climate change not just overseas but here at home. How does the Scottish Government seek to highlight to our communities across Scotland the consequences of climate change for Scotland, such as the recently reported concerns about food shortages and rising food prices in the UK as a consequence of severe weather events?

Màiri McAllan

Bob Doris’s observations are absolutely right. In many ways, we in Scotland are not on the front line of climate change, and we are required to remind people in Scotland of our moral obligation to support communities throughout the world that are on that front line right now. Equally, however, we have in recent months seen in Scotland the very real impacts of continued adverse weather patterns on our communities, not least the record number of named storms that Scotland suffered this winter, with the impacts on our transport infrastructure and, indeed, the lives lost. The combination of both things is very important as part of the message about why we must continue to take action.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

That concludes the statement and questions. I apologise to members who sought to ask a question but whom I was unable to squeeze in—that was a result of some of the questions and answers being excessively long. I also needed to protect the rest of the afternoon’s business.

There will be a short pause before we move on to the next item of business to allow the front-bench teams to change positions.