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Jun 25, 2009

Scotland's climate bill sets precedent for Europe

by Krista Stryker — last modified Jun 25, 2009 02:02 PM
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The bill passed by Members of the Scottish Parliament sets a target to reduce greenhouse gases by 42 percent by 2020.

Scotland bannerBRUSSELS, 24 June 2009 - Friends of the Earth Europe has warmly welcomed the ground breaking Climate Change Bill passed in Scotland today.

Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) today voted for a target to reduce greenhouse gases by 42 percent by 2020 – the most ambitious statutory target in the world.

The vote followed an overwhelming display of support for early action to cut emissions from scientists, Scottish celebrities and campaigners who travelled to the Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, to lobby their MSPs.

Friends of the Earth Europe's climate campaign coordinator, Sonja Meister said: “With this law Scotland is leading the world in the fight to tackle dangerous climate change. The emission cuts now required by law in Scotland are the first in the world to be in line with what science tells us is needed.

“The EU should now follow Scotland’s lead and set equally ambitious targets to help get the international climate negotiations on the right path.”

The Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, Duncan McLaren, said: “Scotland played a leading role in the Industrial Revolution, and now we can play a leading role in the transition to a low carbon economy with new green jobs for the next generation.

“Climate justice and climate science tell us we urgently need to make emission cuts of at least 42 per cent by 2020. The technology exists to deliver them. The Scottish Government must now exercise the political will to make it so.”

Scotland's Climate Change Bill comes in the same week that the Hungarian parliament took a major step towards the realisation of a climate law. On Monday evening Hungarian MPs adopted a resolution on the preparations of a climate law initiated by the Friends of the Earth Hungary and the Hungarian National Council for Sustainable Development.

Around Europe, Friends of the Earth groups are asking governments to commit to annual cuts in climate changing emissions as part of the European Big Ask. Friends of the Earth's Europe-wide climate campaign aims to get governments and the European Union to commit to legally binding annual cuts in emissions to fight climate change. The Big Ask calls on the European Union to commit to at least 40 per cent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions within Europe by 2020 and 100 per cent by 2050.