Questions

Climate Change Conference in Lima

Dennis Robertson (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the outcomes of the recent climate change conference in Lima. (S4O-03865)

The Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (Aileen McLeod): The Lima call for climate action has kept the international negotiations moving forward, but very important issues—principally, the overall level of global ambition—have yet to be resolved. Scotland’s messages about the need for high ambition and climate justice will continue to be highly relevant in the crucial year ahead if the new climate treaty in Paris in 2015 is to stand a good chance of limiting global temperature rise to no more than 2°C, as the international community has already agreed to do.

Dennis Robertson: I thank the minister for her answer, and I welcome her to what is, I think, her first portfolio question time in the chamber.

Scotland leads the way in the international community with its ambitious climate change targets. Can the minister give us some assurance that the Government remains committed to achieving those targets and to setting an example for the rest of the world?

Aileen McLeod: The Government remains extremely committed to the targets. Indeed, as was set out in the programme for government last November, the Scottish Government will continue to lead work to support the delivery and achievement of our world-leading Scottish climate change targets. The Cabinet sub-committee on climate change, which has been established, will ensure that the climate change policy is given the highest priority in all Government objectives. In fact, the sub-committee is meeting again tomorrow.

Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Lab): I, too, welcome the minister to her new post. Although we are very proud of our targets in Scotland, the Scottish Government has failed to meet them in the first three years. It is important not only that we talk the talk but that we walk the walk, so what new initiatives will the minister be launching over the next 12 months and will any of them require cross-party support? Just before Christmas, the First Minister said that the Opposition parties were not supportive enough; well, if we know what policies are being brought forward, we can talk about them.

Aileen McLeod: As I said in my previous answer, the Cabinet sub-committee on climate change is meeting tomorrow to discuss a range of issues around climate change objectives in the Government.

We are taking a number of steps to ensure that Scotland remains on track to meet its climate change ambitions. We intend that the report on proposals and policies 2 will be delivered in full. Where policies and proposals are not being delivered, we will seek to bring forward new policies to achieve the same, if not a greater, level of emissions abatement.

Preparatory work for producing the next RPP, which is due for publication in 2016, has already commenced, and we aim to lay RPP3 as soon as reasonably practicable. In addition, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy has agreed to fund a new macroeconomic model to help in preparing RPP3.