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A96 Action challenges Scottish Government on emissions actions

By Chris Cromar

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FOLLOWING the publication of the United Nations' Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report 2019, A96 Action has challenged the Scottish Government to halt its A96 road building programme.

Environmental expert and A96 Action committee member, Dr Astley Hastings said: “The report clearly states that the world is not doing enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“Emissions have actually risen and the report finds that even if all unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement are implemented, we are still on course for a 3.2°C temperature rise.”

In the introduction to the report, executive director, Inger Andersen said: “This report tells us that to get in line with the Paris Agreement, emissions must drop 7.6 percent per year from 2020 to 2030 for the 1.5°C goal and 2.7 percent for the 2°C goal.

"We need quick wins, or the 1.5 percent goal of the Paris Agreement will slip out of reach.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned us that going beyond 1.5°C will increase the frequency and intensity of climate change, such as the heatwaves and storms witnessed across the globe in the last few years.

"We cannot afford to fail”.

Ms Andersen concluded: “This report gives us a stark choice, set in motion the radical transformations we need now, or face the consequences of a planet radically altered by climate change.

“I hope that its findings inspire governments to step forward with the increased climate ambition the world so desperately needs.”

Commenting, Dr Hastings said: “Sadly, the Scottish Government’s response to their own call of a Climate Emergency is not reflected in their ambition to build a hugely polluting new dual carriageway to the north of Inverurie.

“The greenhouse gas cost of actually building the road is more than a quarter of a million tons of carbon dioxide just for the Huntly to Kintore sections, where more than 22 million tons of rock would have to excavated, this is the equivalent of six Rubislaw Quarries.

“These emissions do not include the soil and photosynthesis carbon loss over 30 years, especially for the technical areas.

"The total greenhouse gas cost for the entire project is about 6 million tons of carbon dioxide.

“To put this into perspective, Scotland’s current total annual transport emissions were 14 million tons in 2016”.

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