22 September 2016

"Unacceptable" to See Environmental Protections Rolled Back - MSP

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson has warned Scotland’s progress on climate change is at risk of being rolled back by a Tory Brexit. His warning comes as Scotland marks its national Climate Week, which runs from 16th September until 23rd September.

The opposing approaches of the Scottish and UK governments in the last week were highlighted by Stewart Stevenson – as a Scottish Government supported world-leading tidal energy project was unveiled days before the Tories approved the costly white elephant Hinkley Point. A Climate Change Committee report also showed that Scotland is leading the UK in cutting carbon emissions, despite Tory cuts to renewables damaging the industry.

This has led to SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson to calling on the Tories to match the Scottish Government’s pledge to maintain vital environmental protection measures required under EU law after Brexit – something that is important in safeguarding communities across North-east from the effects of climate change.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“The Tory government at Westminster are in serious danger of damaging our efforts to tackle climate change and build a sustainable future for the North-east– which is completely unacceptable and light-years away from our efforts in Scotland, marked by the annual national Climate Week.

“Time and again, the Tories have failed to adapt to the need to develop a more sustainable energy policy that would benefit our local communities in the North-east. From the appointment of Andrea Leadsom, who once asked if climate change was real, to the environment portfolio and harrowing cuts to renewable subsidies, to a willingness to spend billions on nuclear power whilst scraping innovative Carbon Capture and Storage schemes, we can see that their priorities lie elsewhere.

“As a former Minister for the Environment and Climate Change I fought long and hard for the environment and for the economic opportunities that would emerge with new sustainable technology. The Tories on the other hand leave much to be desired on the environment – and with Brexit now looming over the North-east, I don’t have high hopes for the vital protections that the EU provides on animal habitats, air and water pollution and carbon emissions being maintained.

“If the increasingly right-wing Tory government had any sense, they would prioritise and strengthen environmental legislation – but given their desire to roll back the decades and cut out the ‘Brussels red-tape’ which provides many vital protections across all areas of public life in the North-east, I can’t say I’ll be holding my breath on that.”

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