THE SCOTTISH Government has been told to back up climate emergency pledges with action and funding – ahead of the global COP26 conference being held in Glasgow.

The appeal comes as a Scottish project has been handed a share of £8 million of funding to help cut carbon emissions.

Scotland has promised to become a carbon neutral country by 2045, five years before the UK Government commitment - and to cut carbon emissions by 75 per cent of 1990 levels by 2030. Both Glasgow and Edinburgh have pledged to become net zero cities by 2030.

Last month, the Scottish Government published its delayed updated climate change plan which includes pledges to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans and reduce the number of kilometres travelled by car by 20 per cent by 2030 and a promise to decarbonise scheduled flights within Scotland by 2040.

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The Scottish Greens are demanding that ministers transform their promises into action ahead of the international COP26 climate summit held in November in Glasgow - seen as an opportunity for Scotland to play a leadership role in tackling the climate crisis.

The party is pointing to this year’s budget as an opportunity for the Scottish Government to prove its commitment to tackling the climate emergency and has also warned about plans to meet targets relying on “undeveloped technologies” such as carbon capture and storage, for which ministers have earmarked a £180 million emerging energy technologies fund , including for the development of clean hydrogen.

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Scottish Greens environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell, said: “2021 brings a fantastic opportunity for Scotland to be centre stage of worldwide efforts to tackle the climate crisis. With Biden committing the US to re-join the Paris Agreement this could be the moment when the tide finally turns in the climate emergency.

“As host nations, the Scottish and UK Governments must bring more than targets to the table if the COP26 conference is going to be a success. If we begin to transition from fossil fuels and think again on road expansions this year, it would send a positive message of leadership to other countries.

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“The Scottish Government’s climate plan made some good noises, but now we need to see those pledges reflected in budget decisions. We need more commitment on a transition from oil and gas and on creating green jobs. We simply don’t have time to wait for undeveloped technologies, this is the year where we need to step up the pace of change.

“Let Scotland grasp the opportunity that the COP conference presents to show real leadership in protecting our future.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the updated climate change plan will also support a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

She added: “These policies and proposals set us on a pathway to a just transition to net zero. This journey will not be easy. We know there are factors we can’t control, including technological advances and the limits of devolved power.

“We will need to be innovative, to learn as we are going and to utilise new and exciting technologies and ideas, seizing on the multiple benefits our journey to net zero presents. We also need the UK Government to match not just our ambition but our action.”

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A Scottish project led by an alliance of industries and experts has been given a share of £8 million of funding by the UK Government to develop ways to cut carbon emissions.

Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap (SNZR), led by Neccus, an alliance of industries and experts, will use the share of funding to draw up a plan that enables competitive decarbonisation.

Neccus’s Acorn project aims to deliver a carbon capture and storage programme for Scotland by 2024 and enable clean hydrogen to be used more widely.

UK Government Minister for Scotland, David Duguid, said: “This funding is part of the second phase of the UK Government’s £170 million industrial decarbonisation challenge. Decarbonising UK industry is a key part of plans for the green industrial revolution and part of our wider commitment to net zero by 2050.

“Decarbonisation will cut emissions, create new jobs, and enable us to build back greener from the pandemic ahead of COP26 in Glasgow this year.”