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Scottish Ministers pressed for details over pledge to fix climate law breach



Scottish ministers are currently refusing to produce the full climate impact assessment of the carbon emissions expected to be generated by their £26bn Infrastructure Investment Plan – crucial to their pledge to reach net zero by 2045.

The Good Law Project and the Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland (ERCS) have now warned the Scottish Government that court proceedings could be on the cards if these figures are not revealed to the public.

Following legal pressure from Good Law Project and ERCS, last month the Scottish Government belatedly accepted that its failure to publish an assessment of the climate impact of its Infrastructure Investment Plan is in breach of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

The Scottish Government has now pledged to undertake “urgent work” to remedy this, stating it will publish current emissions reduction targets and an assessment of whether the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment Plan will make it more or less likely these targets will be met.

But Scottish Ministers are so far refusing to provide a transparent climate assessment to back up their claims. Without quantifying emissions or showing their calculations, the Good Law Project and ERCS pointed out that it is impossible to verify whether or not the Infrastructure Investment Plan is fully compatible with emissions reduction targets.

In their latest letter to the government, the Good Law Project and ERCS argue that ministers must publish this information to comply with their legal duties.

Good Law Project legal director Emma Dearnaley said: “Scottish Ministers need to show us how their flagship plan will meet vital climate targets.

“It is heartening that they’ve accepted they’re in breach of their legal duties and promised to remedy the situation.

“Now they must make good their shortfall – and we’ll be standing by and ready to take legal action if needed.”

Shivali Fifield, chief officer at ERCS, said: “Decisions made about infrastructure today will shape Scotland for decades to come, and it is in the national interest to ensure full transparency so that we can scrutinise the impacts.

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