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Brexit will ‘hold back’ climate change action, SNP conference told

Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham warned leaving the EU will ‘hold back Scotland’s environmental ambitions’.

Breixt will ‘hold back’ Scottish efforts to tackle the climate emergency, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said (John Giles/PA)
Breixt will ‘hold back’ Scottish efforts to tackle the climate emergency, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said (John Giles/PA)

By Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor

Brexit will “hold back” efforts in Scotland to tackle the global climate emergency, the country’s Environment Secretary said.

Roseanna Cunningham announced new measures to help in the fight against global warming – but warned of the impact leaving the European Union could have on the environment.

Speaking at the SNP annual conference in Aberdeen, she said: “Brexit will hold back Scotland’s environmental ambitions.

“We cannot allow Brexit to happen. Scotland voted to remain in the EU and we must do all we can to keep Scotland in the EU.

“But if it does happen – I promise this – we will protect Scotland’s environmental standards, we will never engage in a race to the bottom and we will not sell out Scotland’s environment to dodgy Tory trade deals.”

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Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham. (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Ms Cunningham used her speech to the conference to announce that the Scottish Government will back the setting up of a Scotland office for the Committee on Climate Change – the expert body which advises ministers on environmental issues.

The new Scotland office will have a “team of people to focus purely on advice and analysis for Scotland,” the Environment Secretary said.

She also announced funding of £1 million to help small towns introduce measures to tackle climate change, working towards a network of “Climate Action Towns”.

She hailed Scottish Government efforts to curb environmentally damaging emissions after Holyrood passed legislation committing the country to achieving a net-zero target by 2045.

With the six Scottish Green MSPs having refused to back this, Ms Cunningham launched a fierce attack on them, saying “people can’t trust the Greens”.

PA

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