Scottish ministers are coming under urgent pressure from an SNP-led committee of MSPs to end their repeated failure to meet climate targets by making major cuts in pollution from farming, housing and transport.
Farmers need to reduce their use of polluting chemical fertilisers, householders should be helped to better insulate old and leaky homes and motorists persuaded to opt for cleaner electric and hybrid cars, MSPs say.
In a sharply worded submission this weekend, the Scottish Parliament’s environment committee is urging ministers to ensure that their climate reforms “are not just words”. Scotland must not abandon, or water down, its world-leading ambitions to combat climate change, the committee says.
The Scottish government has so far missed every statutory annual target to reduce carbon emissions in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This is a “disappointment”, the committee says, and leaves ministers facing “significant difficulties” in meeting future targets.
Ministers have suggested lowering the climate targets to make meeting them easier. But this has been roundly rejected by MSPs on the committee as it “would send the wrong global message”.