SNP bows to green lobby and amends carbon emissions cut
Robbie Dinwoodie, Chief Scottish Political Correspondent
Date: 23 June 2009
The Scottish Government last night bowed to pressure from political opponents and the Green lobby and increased their target to cut carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.
But ministers made clear that the new target, which will be enshrined in tomorrow's Climate Change Bill, will have conditions set on it regarding EU and UK measures which could impinge on Scotland's ability to lead the way in terms of climate change.
Ministers last night introduced a manuscript amendment, to raise the ante on a Labour amendment specifying 40% as a target.
The effect will be that a 34% cut with the option to boost that to 42% under certain conditions will be reversed - to a 42% target on the face of the bill subject to expert advice that external factors make that possible.
Labour had backed the 34% target in committee but then in recent days had switched to calling for a 40% figure, with the backing of the Greens, LibDems and climate change campaigners.
This made a defeat for the government a real prospect…