Climate change legislation is being put at risk by the UK government’s refusal to commit to a post-Brexit plan agreed by all four UK administrations, climate change secretary Roseanna Cunningham has warned.
Last month the cabinet secretary wrote to the minister of state for business, energy and clean growth Kwasi Kwarteng and the exchequer secretary to the treasury Kemi Badenoch, calling for the UK government to commit to a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), developed jointly by the four administrations.
Developing a UK ETS would replace the current European Union ETS and would create a carbon pricing regime for energy-intensive industries and the power sector.
However, with less than four weeks until the end of the transition period, the UK government has failed to make any commitment, although they are yet to rule it out a reserved Carbon Emissions Tax (CET), over which devolved administrations would have no say.
Roseanna Cunningham said: ‘The UK Government is already threatening devolution with its damaging Internal Market Bill. Any move to unilaterally, and at the eleventh hour, impose a reserved Carbon Emissions Tax (CET) in place of the agreed framework would further undermine devolution and threaten climate progress.
‘Our ability to use devolved powers to reduce over a quarter of Scotland’s emissions is at stake and, considering we have legal targets to decarbonise 75% by 2030, this is very significant.
‘A UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is the most effective tool currently available to reach our common goals of decarbonising the industry and energy sectors and achieving our statutory net-zero targets. It would also demonstrate our commitment to international climate action in the year when COP 26 will be held in Glasgow.
‘The UK must urgently clarify its position and back a UK ETS to avoid further – and even more damaging – disruption to Scotland’s plans to end our contribution to climate change.’
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