"Unacceptable" to See Environmental Protections Rolled Back
The opposing approaches of the Scottish and UK governments in the last week were highlighted by Mark McDonald – as a Scottish Government supported world-leading tidal energy project was unveiled days before the Tories approved the costly white elephant Hinkley Point. A Climate Change Committee report also showed that Scotland is leading the UK in cutting carbon emissions, despite Tory cuts to renewables damaging the industry.
This has led to SNP MSP's calling on the Tories to match the Scottish Government’s pledge to maintain vital environmental protection measures required under EU law after Brexit – something that is important in safeguarding communities across Scotland from the effects of climate change.
Commenting, Mark McDonald said:
“The Tory government at Westminster are in serious danger of damaging our efforts to tackle climate change and build a sustainable future for our country – which is completely unacceptable and light-years away from our efforts in Scotland, marked by the annual national Climate Week.
“Time and again, the Tories have failed to adapt to the need to develop a more sustainable energy policy that would benefit our local communities in Aberdeen. From the appointment of Andrea Leadsom, who once asked if climate change was real, to the environment portfolio and harrowing cuts to renewable subsidies, to a willingness to spend billions on nuclear power whilst scraping innovative Carbon Capture and Storage schemes, we can see that their priorities lie elsewhere.
“Their record on the environment leaves a lot to be desired – and with an unwanted Brexit now looming over us, I don’t have high hopes for the vital protections that the EU provides on animal habitats, air and water pollution and carbon emissions being maintained.
“If the increasingly right-wing Tory government had any sense, they would prioritise and strengthen environmental legislation – but given their desire to roll back the decades and cut out the ‘Brussels red-tape’ which provides many vital protections across all areas of public life, I can’t say I’ll be holding my breath on that.”
Details of Climate Week are available here: http://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/sustainability-climate-change/sustainable-scotland-network/climate-week-2016/
The lack of new renewable energy schemes is detailed here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/12/just-10-new-community-energy-schemes-registered-after-tories-cut-subsidies?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco
The 2014 to 2020 European Environment Action Programme is detailed here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/pubs/pdf/factsheets/7eap/en.pdf