Attn: Newsdesks, political & environment correspondents
Immediate release Thursday 26 November 2009
WELCOME FOR STRONGER CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS FOR WATER INDUSTRY
Climate change campaigners today welcomed moves to ensure Scotland’s water industry contributes more to the country’s world leading greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is pleased that the Scottish Government and the Water Industry Commission for Scotland have moved to make climate change a higher priority in Scottish Water’s objectives and investment plan.
This follows criticism from SCCS and pressure from members of the Scottish Parliament’s Transport Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee.
Mike Robinson, Chair of the SCCS coalition, said: “We strongly welcome the fact that climate change objectives for Scottish Water have now been moved from priority two to priority one, as priority two objectives were unlikely to be funded.
“At this crucial time in tackling global warming, it is important that public bodies such as Scottish Water help lead the way in protecting the planet and contributing to the important Scottish targets of reducing emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.”
Dave Watson, Scottish Organiser, UNISON, said: “As one of the biggest electricity consumers, Scottish Water has the potential to make huge savings in energy costs.
“Work on tackling leaks will help reduce electricity consumption and was already properly being prioritised, but it is right that Scottish Water’s objectives now reflect the new climate change duties on public bodies which will come into force in January 2011.
“All public bodies should be looking now at how they will ensure they comply with the new duties.”
Lloyd Austin, Head of Policy at RSPB Scotland, said: “We are pleased that today’s Final Determination from the Water Industry Commission for Scotland has taken account of concerns raised by SCCS and others and now has a stronger focus on the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.”
Notes to Editors
The Water Industry Commission for Scotland’s Final Determination for 2010-2015 was published today (26 Nov), setting price limits on water charges, which determine Scottish Water’s investment plan. www.watercommission.co.uk/UserFiles/Documents/Final%20Determination%20document.pdf
All public bodies will soon have new duties under the world-leading Climate Change (Scotland) Act to contribute to greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and to plans to adapt to deal with flooding and other problems caused by global warming.
SCCS urged the water industry to prioritise new climate obligations in responding to the Water Industry Commission for Scotland’s (WICS) Draft Determination on 22 September 2009 www.stopclimatechaos.org/node/2126
Sir Ian Byatt, WICS Chairman, was quizzed on the Draft Determination on Tuesday 22 September at the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee at the Scottish Parliament. The Committee Chair subsequently wrote to Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson whose response is at www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/917/0089248.pdf
Information on the new public bodies Climate Change Duties is at www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Environment/climatechange/scotlands-action/climatechangeact/publicsector
The Wave - Scotland’s biggest ever demonstration in support of action on climate change – takes place in Glasgow on Saturday 5 December 2009, timed to coincide with the crucial UN climate summit in Copenhagen. Tens of thousands of people will gather in Glasgow and London. The Wave is organised by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland. www.the-wave.org.uk/scotland/
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is a diverse, growing coalition of organisations campaigning on climate change. The SCCS Coalition has 60 Scottish members, representing more than 2 million supporters (40% of the Scottish population), ranging from environment and development groups to faith organisations, trade unions, student societies, care providers and many more. SCCS was instrumental in securing a strong climate act for Scotland. For full details visit http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/scotland