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Climate crisis deepens at Holyrood

CLIMATE experts have slammed the SNP-Green Scottish government for having no plan to meet remaining targets, as the coalition crisis deepens.

Just one week after the SNP Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan plunged the future of the ruling SNP-Green Holyrood coalition into crisis by ditching targets to cut emission to 75 per cent 2030, efforts to meet remaining targets have been once again criticised by the statutory Climate Change Committee (CCC).

A CCC report last month branding Scottish government targets as “no longer credible” is thought to be behind the ditching of the 2030 goal, but a political crisis followed as outraged Green activists demanded the coalition agreement with the SNP be torn up over the move.

Now, as the Scottish Green Party co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater battle to win a membership ballot to preserve their SNP union and their ministerial roles, their efforts have been dealt a blow once again by the CCC’s chief executive Chris Stark.

Referring to the ditched target, Mr Stark told Holyrood’s net zero committee that the CCC “felt that the time had come for us to call that target out.”

He said: “We don’t see a policy package that could deliver anything close to that, therefore we felt it was important to say we felt the target could not be met.”

Moving on the remaining target to cut kilometres driven by cars by 20 per cent by 2030, Mr Stark was similarly damning.

The told MSPs: “I am dubious about any plan to be successful in delivering the 20 per cent reduction, and the reason I say that is because the requirements are pretty big to pull that off.”

He told the committee the target would be “extraordinarily difficult target to hit,” requiring change on the scale of the first year of London’s congestion charge each and every year until 2030, adding:

“Maybe they have a plan to do that in the Scottish government. I would love to see it.

“But that took years of planning for London to introduce that, and we haven’t had that kind of planning in cities across Scotland.”

Labour’s net zero spokesperson Sarah Boyack said: “Scotland deserves better than a string of broken promises from a government more interested in setting targets than meeting them.”

The Scottish government said: “Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan last week announced a suite of new policies which will step up action to reduce emissions and which complement the ambitious measures already being taken forward this year.”

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