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Scotland joins climate change group

04/11/2009

The Scottish Government has become a full member of The Climate Group, one of the world's most influential organisations focused on developing and sharing expertise on developing a low carbon economy.

Stewart Stevenson, Climate Change Minister, made the announcement in Barcelona while attending United Nations climate change negotiations as part of preparations for the world climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.

Speaking at a conference event organised by The Climate Group and the Government of Catalonia, Mr Stevenson said:

"Given Scotland's world-leading framework for tackling climate change, we have no hesitation in signing up to The Climate Group's Statement of Principles.

"The Scottish Government recognises the urgency of addressing climate change and is an active partner in the common desire to identify solutions, work towards adaptation and create a sustainable future. This is why we introduced our world-leading Climate Change Act this year, making clear our intention to work to reduce carbon pollution by 42 per cent by 2020. Today's signing is a continuation of that commitment."

By becoming a full member of The Climate Group, the Scottish Government has joined business organisations such as Marks and Spencer and Scottish Power, as well as administrations such as the State of California and the City of New York in signing up to The Climate Group's principles setting out its vision of the way forward in tackling climate change. All signatories pledge to take further and sustained action on climate change.

Luc Bas, Head of Government Relations Europe, The Climate Group said:

"Scotland has been a member of the States and Regions Alliance for many years and we are delighted to welcome them as full members of The Climate Group. In the run up to the Copenhagen summit, Scotland is setting a great example with its ambitious targets in the Climate Change Act and through its comprehensive climate change Delivery Plan, Carbon Assessment of Government spending, and strategic approach to climate change adaptation. Scotland's commitment to green energy and the economic opportunities of the low carbon economy is impressive and far-sighted. This is a great model for other countries to follow."

The Minister also spoke at an event organised by SCIAF and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), and held discussions with NGOs to discuss what they want as a result of the Copenhagen talks.

He said:

"Legislation alone won't bring about the move to a low carbon economy and therefore this Government is taking action which will lead to real changes in everyday actions: by businesses, the public sector, voluntary and community groups and individuals.

"Across the developed world, we need a cohesive approach to tackling climate change and I am looking forward to real progress being made in Copenhagen in December."

Speaking at the Scottish event hosted by SCIAF/SCCS aimed at informing other countries of Scotland's world-leading climate example, SCIAF's Advocacy Manager Chris Hegarty said:

"Climate change is already hitting people in developing countries hard, despite them having done least to cause the problem. In the run-up to Copenhagen, it is important to recognise how vital it is to make substantial early cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. Scotland has shown that it is realistic and achievable for industrialised countries to commit to the reductions that are needed. We welcome the Scottish Government's involvement with the Climate Group and hope that it helps contribute to an ambitious and fair UN deal."

The Climate Group is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working internationally with government and business leaders to advance smart policies and technologies to cut global emissions and accelerate a low carbon economy. Its global coalition of companies, states, regions and cities around the world recognise the economic and environmental imperatives of taking decisive action now. The Climate Group was founded in 2004 and has operations in Australia, China, Europe, India and North America.