Campaigners warn climate action must not slow as Greens axed from Government

Scotland’s First Minister has been urged to clarify how his Government will tackle key climate targets following the collapse of the powersharing agreement with the Greens.

Friends of the Earth Scotland campaigners warned Humza Yousaf must get action on climate change “back on track”, with a commitment to protect “vital” legislation which was being spearheaded by Scottish Green ministers.

Key recycling targets under the Circular Economy Bill and energy aims through the Heat in Buildings Bill will be important going forward, the environmental group said.

Factory emissions
The Green ministers had been spearheading several key environmental policies (PA)

The concerns were echoed by Lang Banks of WWF Scotland, who said: “Despite this news, one thing remains the same – the Scottish Government must urgently continue to take steps to address the climate and natural emergency.

“There is overwhelming public support in Scotland for action that will create jobs, and deliver warmer homes, cleaner air, and support more farmers to adopt climate and nature-friendly practices.”

On Tuesday, climate campaigners protested outside the First Minister’s official residence in Edinburgh after the Government scrapped the 2030 target of cutting emissions by 75%.

However, others have said the end of the Bute House Agreement is an opportunity for the First Minister to reset his relationship with businesses and communities in rural Scotland.

Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land and Estates, said: “An end to the Bute House Agreement is a new beginning for the Scottish Government. It is an opportunity to hit the reset button on its relationship with rural Scotland.

“Now is the time for a rural reset, and a chance to map out a vision for rural Scotland that takes an evidence-based approach to delivering the outcome we all want to see.

“We now have an opportunity to take a different approach that takes into account the real priorities of people in rural Scotland and allows evidence and lived experience to lead the debate.”

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