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31/03/14 11:06

Climate change poses serious challenge

Scotland’s Minister for Environment comments on IPCC report.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) earlier published its Working Group II Report on the global impacts of climate change.

Following the publication in Japan, Environment and Climate Change Minster Paul Wheelhouse said:

"We welcome the work that has gone into publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II Report and will study it carefully. The report increases the clarity of the case for both the global community to step up its action to keep global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius and the fact that if the world fails to act decisively, then the economic and social costs will be severe.

“Scotland, through our world leading, Climate Change Scotland Act (2009) and subsequent steps, have taken decisive, unilateral action and we know that early action will reduce our long term transition costs. We have not waited for others to stop prevaricating and see sense and I know that the IPCC Chair, Dr RK Pachauri has praised Scotland’s work in this important area in the recent past.

“Climate change is one of the most serious challenges to global society and the natural environment both at home and abroad.

“That is why the Scottish Government, supported by the Scottish Parliament, has set world-leading greenhouse gas emission reduction targets with detailed plans on how to meet them. We are also developing Scotland’s first statutory Climate Change Adaptation Programme for publication later this year to increase the resilience of Scotland’s people, environment and economy to the impacts of a changing climate.

“The Scottish Government’s independent advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), confirmed last week that Scotland continues to make good progress and we remain confident Scotland is on a trajectory to achieve our ambitious 2020 target of a 42 per cent emissions reduction. The CCC also confirm Scotland is doing much better in lowering climate change emissions than the UK as a whole.

“Clearly, though, climate change is not something Scotland can tackle alone. We need the rest of the UK, our European neighbours, and indeed all countries to do their bit. We want to see an ambitious global deal on climate change agreed in 2015 and for the EU to raise its pre-2020 emissions target.

“We are also championing climate justice and recognise that, while we will face increasingly severe weather at home, it is developing countries that are at greatest risk from current and future impacts of climate change. Our innovative Climate Justice Fund has been recognised by the international community and puts people and human rights at the heart of Scotland’s action on climate change.”

Notes to editors

Scotland has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.

Dr RK Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:The initiatives taken by the Scottish Government for tackling the threats posed by climate change are indeed a matter of pride.” (Letter to Minister for Environment and Climate Change, 21 February 2013).

To view the Committee on Climate Change's independent progress report on Scotland's emissions reduction targets visit

For more details on the Scottish Government's Climate Justice Fund visit