Are environmental protections being eroded?

Concerns have been raised over environmental protections
Concerns have been raised over environmental protections

Progress on climate change risks being rolled back by an “increasingly right-wing” Tory Brexit, Rona Mackay MSP has warned.

The SNP MSP’s statement comes as Scotland marked its national Climate Week last week.

The opposing approaches of the Scottish and UK governments in the last week were highlighted by the Strathkelvin and Bearsden representative.

A Scottish Government supported world-leading tidal energy project was unveiled days before the Tories approved the costly white elephant Hinkley Point, Ms Mackay pointed out.

A Climate Change Committee report also showed that Scotland is leading the UK in cutting carbon emissions, despite Tory cuts to renewables damaging the industry.

Ms Mackay said: “The Tory government at Westminster are in serious danger of damaging our efforts to tackle climate change and build a sustainable future for East Dunbartonshire.

“This is completely unacceptable and light-years away from our efforts in Scotland, marked by the annual national Climate Week.

“Time and again, the Tories have failed to adapt to the need to develop a more sustainable energy policy that would benefit our local communities in Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

“From the appointment of Andrea Leadsom, who once asked if climate change was real, to the environment portfolio and harrowing cuts to renewable subsidies, to a willingness to spend billions on nuclear power whilst scraping innovative Carbon Capture and Storage schemes, we can see that their priorities lie elsewhere.

“Their record on the environment leaves a lot to be desired – and with an unwanted Brexit now looming over the towns and villages of my constituency, I don’t have high hopes for the vital protections that the EU provides on animal habitats, air and water pollution and carbon emissions being maintained.

“If the increasingly right-wing Tory government had any sense, they would prioritise and strengthen environmental legislation – but given their desire to roll back the decades and cut out the ‘Brussels red-tape’ which provides many vital protections across all areas of public life in East Dunbartonshire, I can’t say I’ll be holding my breath on that.”