Scotland welcomes EU commitment to sign climate treaty

Scotland’s Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod has welcomed Eurpean commitment to continued leadership on climate change.

The EU formally agreed on March 4, 2016, to sign up to the global climate deal reached in December 2015.

The EU was also the first to make a commitment on reducing emissions before the historic Paris climate summit, and has agreed a comprehensive and ambitious set of legislation to implement that pledge, according to the Scottish government.

Speaking after attending the EU’s Environment Council, McLeod said: “The EU’s climate leadership and diplomacy were key to the success of the Paris Agreement. It was the first major economy block to make known its plans to reduce emissions, and negotiated as an equal with China, India and the USA – wielding far more influence on the international stage than 28 individual member states would be able to do on their own.

“The EU remains committed to cutting emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030 and they recognise our ambition to cut emissions even further. The EU did firmly commit to support the IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report in 2018 on how to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

“The EU also committed to participate in the UN dialogue in 2018 to take stock of global efforts towards the long-term goal, and to its own in depth analysis before 2020 of the transformation that will be needed in energy and transport to deliver a mid-century, long-term, low emissions development strategy.”

McLeod added Scotland is on track to meet and exceed the target of 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

The Paris Agreement will be open for signature at the high-level ceremony taking place in New York on April 22, 2016.

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