Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, has responded to the publication of the Programme for Government.
He said: “It is quite right that the new Climate Bill is one of the early priorities of this government. Nicola Sturgeon’s strong words on the need for action on climate change are very welcome. The new Bill needs to increase Scotland’s ambition in light of the Paris climate agreement, set new targets for 2020 and beyond, and pave the way for every sector of the economy to deliver carbon savings.
“It is great news that the SNP have reaffirmed their manifesto commitment to deliver the first Low Emission Zone by 2018. This is a vital tool in reducing the air pollution death toll in our cities and there are 200 of these zones across Europe. We expect there will be tough competition between Scotland’s cities get the first Low Emission Zone.
“It is disappointing that the government plan to halve and eventually abolish Air Passenger Duty. Their own figures show that reducing APD would increase climate change emissions, and all the other parties in the Parliament are opposed to reducing it.”