Scotland Crafts Own World-Beating Climate Bill
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If you liked Obama's proposed climate agenda, then you'll love Scotland's. Not only would it require an 80 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions below 1990 levels by mid-century, it would also require equivalent reductions from the five other major greenhouse gases. Emission levels would have to be reduced 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Unlike most other international variants, it would target shipping and aviation emissions as well, reports the BBC.
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Other goodies the bill includes are measures on recycling and packaging, waste reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy for the forestry sector. In case retailers are unwilling to charge customers for the use of plastic bags, the bill also authorizes government ministers to make them do so as a "last resort". (Several retailers have already begun charging for their use.)
A Committee on Climate Change, or other advisory body, would be established by the government to provide recommendations and guidance on its implementation. If passed by the Parliament, the bill would give the country one of the most forward-looking climate change portfolios in the world. Stewart Stevenson, the Climate Change Minister (don't you love the sound of that?), hopes that developing a range of short, medium and long-term measures will help guarantee the bill's success.
Scotland has been on a roll of late in the climate change/renewable energy arena, committing to building one of Europe's largest onshore wind farms (Romania took the cake in that category) and one of its largest biomass plants while also launching the world's largest prize for marine renewable energy. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that Edinburgh remains one of Northern Europe's most sustainable cities (though it's a shame the government caved on Donald Trump's proposed golf course project).
President-elect Obama could certainly do worse than consult with the Scottish government before crafting what many hope will be his own world-beating climate bill.