The Scottish Government may face delays in finalizing its new plans to address climate change due to a last-minute change in green policies by the Prime Minister. This announcement caused concern among officials and led to efforts to assess the impact on Edinburgh’s climate targets. The document outlining the measures is expected to be delayed as a result. The Prime Minister’s actions were criticized as an “unforgivable betrayal” of future generations.
The Scottish Government has faced criticism for repeatedly missing its own climate targets. When questioned about a revised action plan to meet these targets, the Net Zero Secretary revealed that the sudden policy change made by the UK Government would require additional time to consider the implications. The lack of communication and advance notice from UK ministers further complicated the situation.
The UK Government’s decision to postpone the ban on the sale of diesel and petrol cars until 2035 raised questions about how this would affect Scotland. Transport Scotland had initially aimed to “phase out the need” for polluting vehicles without implementing an outright ban. However, the impact of the UK Government’s delay is still uncertain and under investigation.
The UK Government’s revised policy to ban polluting vehicles aligns with the official EU target. Nevertheless, it has caused frustration among manufacturers who had made investments based on previous incentives and warnings from the UK Government. Climate experts have also accused the Tories of abandoning emissions reduction ambitions, making it more challenging to meet climate goals.
The Scottish Conservative net zero spokesperson defended the Prime Minister’s policy changes, stating that they set “realistic” targets. They also called on the Scottish Government to be transparent and discuss the cost of the journey towards net zero with the public.