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Scotland can redefine climate leadership, says Sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon launched the Scottish Government’s Energy Consumer Action Plan at the All Energy Conference on Wednesday.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon speaking at Holyrood (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament)
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon speaking at Holyrood (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament)

Scotland can redefine what climate leadership means if MSPs back proposals for the country to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

In a report published earlier this month by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), it was recommended that the UK should aim to be net-zero by 2050, with Scotland’s target for doing so set five years earlier.

Speaking at the All Energy Conference in Glasgow, the First Minister said that the Scottish Government is in full acceptance of the advice put forward by the CCC.

She said: “Scotland has long been recognised as an international climate leader.”

“If Parliament accepts our proposed target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045, we will have redefined what climate leadership means.

“The Committee on Climate Change was clear in its report that for Scotland to achieve net zero emissions by 2045, the UK Government must play its part.

“We believe it should set a target of net zero emissions for the UK by 2050 and urgently put in place the policies which will deliver that target.”

Ms Sturgeon also launched the government’s Energy Consumer Action Plan at the conference.

The plan was developed in collaboration with an expert advisory group including consumer groups, academics and regulator Ofgem.

It includes establishing an independent Consumers Commission to give consumers a more powerful voice in Scottish and Great Britain energy policy, developing a charter committing signatories to address consumer issues, and introducing a statutory duty on public authorities to place people’s interests at the heart of policy and regulatory decision-making

Ms Sturgeon said: “As the energy market continues to evolve, we need to ensure that it is more responsive to people’s needs and interests.

“If we are to influence consumer behaviour in the future we need to build trust – and ensure that the system puts people first.

“That’s why the Scottish Government is publishing our Energy Consumer Action Plan. It sets out what we will do to ensure better outcomes for consumers, in our energy market.”

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