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Protecting Scotland’s Future: the Government’s Programme for Scotland 2019-2020

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Scotland is facing a climate emergency. Like the rest of the world, we must act to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change on our people and our planet.

We have already committed to some of the toughest statutory emissions reductions in the world. Adopting a net zero emissions target by 2045 underlines our ambition that Scotland will no longer contribute to global climate change.

This will require changes in the way that we currently live, work and travel. But our world-class innovation and our natural assets leave us well placed to make those changes while seizing the opportunities of transitioning to net zero.

Scotland has a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of global action, gaining an early foothold in developing new low emissions solutions, products and processes that we can export across the world. This will create new employment opportunities and attract investment to Scotland.

In considering how we will make this transition, we must consider how the impacts and opportunities will be equitably shared, underlining the importance of our Just Transition Commission. It will provide an interim report early next year and publish its final report in 2021.

We have committed to updating our Climate Change plan in light of the latest advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change. We will use the recommendations from the Committee and draw on robust scientific evidence to help us to update the plan early next year.

But we know that there are areas where we can take action now. In particular, we will make changes to how we develop our infrastructure and grow our economy, how we travel, how we use our land and how we heat our homes – such changes will make an important contribution to emissions reduction in Scotland.

This Programme for Government commits to vital early action to accelerate our journey towards net zero.

The Climate Emergency Response Group

Scotland’s answer to the climate emergency will require us to work across the public, private and third sectors and across Scotland’s diverse communities.

The recently established Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG) already shows the sort of collaboration that we will need to see to be successful. We have noted their 12 specific asks and this Programme for Government responds as follows. We will continue to work with them and other key stakeholders across Scottish society to deliver on our commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

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