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World Environment Day

Environment Ministers call on everyone to play their part.

On World Environment Day, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary and Minister for the Environment are calling for people to recognise the impact of their actions on the world around them.

Richard Lochhead and Aileen McLeod are urging everyone to do their bit in caring for the wonderful biodiversity and fabulous landscape we enjoy in Scotland so that future generations may also appreciate them.

The Cabinet Secretary and Minister attended EU Green Week in Brussels earlier this week to discuss the importance of taking care of the environment around you.

Dr McLeod, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, said 2015 is a pivotal year in the international effort to tackle climate change and keep our environment healthy.

She said:

“The environment around us is extremely important to our health and wellbeing. It is imperative to tackle climate change and greenhouse gas emissions to ensure the beautiful environment we currently enjoy can be appreciated by the next generation in years to come.

“UN climate negotiations are underway in Bonn to prepare a draft global treaty on greenhouse gas emissions.

“The deal – which is aimed at limiting global temperature increase to less than two degrees Celsius – will be finalised in Paris in December. And to stand any chance of succeeding, the international community needs to follow Scotland’s lead and show the highest possible ambition on climate change.

“The science is indisputable. Climate change is happening now. It affects us all, and the Scottish Government takes it extremely seriously. We have put in place a comprehensive package of policies and measures to meet our world-leading emission reduction targets, backed by almost £1 billion of funding over two years. And we are making progress: between 1990 and 2012 we outperformed the UK as a whole and the EU average for emissions reductions – and, importantly, remain on track to meet our world-leading 42 per cent reduction target by 2020.”

Since 2009 Scottish Ministers have actively pressed the EU to adopt more ambitious targets. Mr Lochhead and Dr McLeod are calling on everyone – including businesses, industry and individuals – to play their part.

Dr McLeod added:

“I know that climate change cannot be tackled by Governments alone. That is why we’re asking everyone to get involved because every little helps. For example, turning down the thermostat by just one degree to save energy at home, and using the car less for short journeys can make a real difference to the environment.

“But we must lead by example and, to do so, we must be ambitious in the targets we set. In the run up to Paris, I will continue to press the international community to look to Scotland and follow our example in striving for the highest global ambition to tackle climate change and ensure the environment we live in remains strong, healthy and beautiful.”


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