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15 April 2021

SNP MANIFESTO - WWF Scotland comment

We will be responding to political party manifestos in the run up to the Holyrood 2021 elections on the 6th May. You can read the WWF Scotland Manifesto here.

SNP MANIFESTO - WWF Scotland repsonse

15th April 2021

During the past year WWF Scotland has been calling for the next Scottish Government to protect and restore Scotland’s nature, and to slash climate emissions in heat, transport and farming as part of a just transition and green recovery.

Commenting on the publication of the SNP manifesto today (Thurs) Fabrice Leveque, Head of Policy said:

“It’s welcome to see commitments which would put Scotland on a path to a green recovery and create jobs, with particular progress on restoring peatlands and expanding renewable heat. However, we are disappointed to see a lack of commitments on agricultural reform and nature recovery, both of which will be essential for us reaching net zero and protecting and restoring our precious habitats and species.”

On food and farming

Leveque said:

“We welcome the renewed pledge to introduce the delayed Good Food Nation Bill, which we hope to see come forward in the first parliamentary session. We would like this Bill to underpin a statutory National Food Plan. However, commitments on future rural support are disappointing. Under these proposals, from 2025, half of government payments to farmers would still come with few conditions attached, despite the urgent need to help them switch to more climate- and nature-friendly practices.”

On cutting emissions from heat:

Leveque said:

“The pledge to switch one million homes to renewable heat by 2030 is an essential step to get us to net zero emissions. The £1.6bn committed spend is also welcome, but more funding and policies would be needed to make sure we make homes energy efficient, keep the costs of the transition down, create jobs all over Scotland, and tackle fuel poverty.”

On nature:

Leveque said:

“We’re pleased to see a pledge for continued and increased funding for peatlands and woodlands expansion, but more emphasis needs to be put on planting native trees and ending extraction of peat. The commitment to protect at least 30% of Scotland’s land by 2030 is positive but to deliver this existing protected areas would need to be strengthened, expanded and better managed. While a biodiversity strategy would be a welcome step, to be truly transformational it would need to include legally binding nature recovery targets alongside funding.”

On transport:

Leveque said:

“Increased investment in active travel and low-carbon public transport infrastructure, such as supporting the expansion of zero-emissions buses, would be welcome steps to tackle emissions in our most polluting sector. Whilst it’s good to see the rebalancing of spending, more ambition is needed to make our city and town centres free from vehicle emissions by 2030.”

Fabrice Leveque added:

“Action on climate change in the next parliament will require new efforts across the whole Scottish economy. It is only with ambition across all these areas will reaching our world leading targets be possible. We call on all parties to include ambitious new policies in line with WWF Scotland’s manifesto.”

“As we look to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, governments and parliaments have a central role to play in leading the way in tackling these crises, as fairly and quickly as possible. With COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November, will be an opportunity for the next Scottish Government to walk the talk on climate change by accelerating action, putting in place new investments and policies, and ending activities that work against our climate and nature responsibilities.”

Notes to Editors

[1] WWF Scotland  Holyrood 2021 Manifesto for People and Nature calls for  policies to place nature and climate at the heart of decision making, towards a future with sustainable cities and communities, climate-friendly transport for all, a fair, healthy, nature-friendly and high quality food system, and homes without fossil fuels.  https://manifesto.wwf.org.uk/scotland

 

[2] SNP Manifesto https://www.snp.org/manifesto/

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