The SNP politician voted in favour of making Scotland a “net zero” nation by 2045, five years earlier than the rest of the UK. The new law, backed by parliament, means Scotland will not contribute to global warming by that date.
Ms McAlpine also joined a majority of MSPs who backed a tougher interim target of a 75% reduction of emissions by 2030.
The ambitious target, which has been set in response to climate campaigners, is above and beyond what the UK Committee on Climate Change recommended for Scotland.
Ms McAlpine also backed amendments designed to support farmers through the introduction of a “nitrogen balance sheet” .
Scotland continues to be an international leader on climate change, and these world-first targets are a positive step on the journey to a net-zero society.
Ms McAlpine said: “These targets have been set in response to pressure from passionate climate campaigners, but it will be everyone’s responsibility to adjust our lifestyles to be more conscious of our environment and our rapidly changing climate.
“Opposition parties have been quick to criticise the SNP Scottish Government for some policies designed to help reduce emissions, such as workplace parking levies, but if we want to continue to lead the way and meet these ambitious targets then we will need to make difficult choices.”
The Climate Change Bill was passed by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon (25/09/19)
The tough targets it sets include all greenhouse gases, not just carbon dioxide and it does not allow Scotland to meet its obligations through “carbon trading”.
Accountability for meeting the targets will be strengthened, with Ministers now required to report on progress to tackle climate change in every sector, every year.
A Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change will be created to make recommendations to Ministers on how Scotland’s net-zero transition should be achieved.