Speaking at the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, Jamie McGrigor, Highlands & Islands Conservative MSP and the Scottish Conservative Environment Spokesman, urged Ministers to do more to develop ‘practical policies and incentives that will encourage consumers to make decisions that will help reduce emissions’.
This call came during the afternoon’s Parliamentary debate on the Rural Affairs, Climate Change & Environment Committee’s report on the Scottish Government’s policy document on meeting Scotland’s annual greenhouse gas emissions targets.
The MSP also covered a range of other topics including peatland restoration, emissions from homes, recycling and agriculture, saying: ‘The Scottish Conservatives have consistently supported practical policies and incentives that will encourage consumers to make decisions that will help reduce emissions and this remains our approach. That is why we championed the concept of a green council tax discount and are disappointed at the low take up of this option so far.
‘The Scottish Government on November 12th invited local authorities to consider how greater uptake could be achieved and I would be grateful if the Minister could update us on this subject. What can the Scottish Government do to help councils promote this measure?
“As I have said many times in this chamber, Scotland’s peatlands are a world-class resource that act as a significant carbon sink, storing 10 times more carbon than all the trees in the UK.
‘We are positive about moves that would enable peatland restoration to be promoted but have sympathy with those experts who have warned that the funding of £1.7 million for 2012-2015, while welcome, would need to be expanded to lead to a significant area of peatland being restored.
‘Ministers need to consider this as we go forward. We also urge Ministers to work with the private sector to develop innovative ways of allowing peatland restoration to be undertaken as part of corporate social responsibility programmes.
‘I commend the good work and effective partnership working of the example of peatland restoration which has taken place at the RSPB’s Forsinard reserve in Caithness in my region of the Highlands & Islands. Others can learn from what has been achieved there.’