Miliband condemns ‘humiliating defeat’ on climate target for Scottish ministers

Ed Miliband has accused the Scottish Government of “broken promises” after it scrapped a key climate change target.

Labour’s shadow climate change and net zero secretary said abandoning the goal to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 was “humiliating” for Scottish ministers and would leave Scots “vulnerable to Putin’s whims”.

Scottish Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan announced the move to Holyrood on Thursday as she accepted the flagship target is now “out of reach”.

However, she said the 2045 target to reach net zero would remain, along with announcing a raft of climate measures to help the Scottish Government reach that goal, including tripling the number of electric vehicle charging points by 2030.

Labour’s proposals include establishing a publicly-owned GB Energy company based in Scotland and creating more than 50,000 clean power jobs by 2030.

Mr Miliband’s party came under fire earlier this year for scaling back its £28 billion green spending pledge, instead committing to £23.7 billion over the course of the next UK parliamentary term if Labour wins the upcoming election.

First Minister Humza Yousaf was among those to criticise what he called “another screeching U-turn” by Labour on the issue.

Climate change
Net Zero Secretary Scottish Mairi McAllan announced updated climate targets in Holyrood on Thursday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“Scotland deserves more than empty rhetoric and broken promises from the SNP and the Greens.

“Only Labour can deliver the lower bills, good jobs, energy security and climate leadership Scotland needs, with our green prosperity plan, including Great British Energy headquartered in Scotland, that will make Britain a clean energy superpower.”

Scottish Labour net zero spokeswoman Sarah Boyack said the Scottish Government’s announcement was a “humiliating climbdown”.

A Scottish Government spokesman  said: “Scotland’s 2045 net zero target is not changing.

“The proposed new Bill will retain our legal commitment to 2045 alongside annual reporting on progress, while introducing a target approach based on five-yearly carbon budgets, an approach utilised in both the UK and Wales, and which aligns with the nuanced and practical approaches to reducing emissions advocated by the Climate Change Committee.

“Our legal commitment to reach net zero by 2045 steadfastly remains, and with emissions in Scotland already nearly cut in half, we are well positioned to continue leading on climate action that is fair, ambitious and capable of rising to the emergency before us.”

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