THE SNP are urging the UK Government to take bold action to tackle the global climate emergency.

Speaking ahead of the COP28 UN climate conference, SNP MP Deidre Brock said that “bold, committed and informed leadership” is needed to address the climate crisis.

The party criticised “irresponsible” net-zero policy changes announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in September, which included delaying a ban on new petrol and diesel cars by five years and weakening the plan to phase out new gas boilers.

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The Climate Change Committee, which advises the UK Government on how to reach net zero, has said that the changes will make achieving a target of making the UK net zero by 2050 “considerably harder to achieve”.

COP28 begins later this week in Dubai, after taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt last year and in Glasgow in 2021.

The SNP have urged the UK Government to “follow the Scottish Government’s leadership and step up to its moral responsibilities”.

Brock (below) said: “There are few more important challenges facing us all right now than tackling climate change and leaving a safe world for the generations to come.

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“We can and should be proud that Scotland is playing its part – whether it is being among the first nations to declare a climate emergency, being the first country to pledge loss and damage funding, investing in a Just Transition, or improving public transport so people can make more sustainable choices.

“Scotland has so much to offer the world when it comes to tackling the climate crisis but much of our progress is being held back by Westminster’s arrogance and short sightedness.

“Rishi Sunak’s recent irresponsible and nonsensical backtracking on his government’s already timid actions are as dangerous as they are embarrassing – and, as countries come together at COP28 this week, I suspect the Tories will be left in absolutely no doubt about the damaging impact of their actions.

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“People need bold, committed and informed leadership to allow us to properly play our part in addressing the climate crisis.”

She added: “The SNP will continue to do what we can with the powers at our disposal but, ultimately, it is only with the full powers of independence we can truly be at the heart of delivering the greener future we all deserve.”

A UK Government spokesman said: “The UK has, and will continue to, play a leadership role on climate change.

“We were the first country to legislate for net zero and have cut emissions faster than any other major economy.

“We’re proud that we’ve overdelivered on every target to cut our emissions to date and have more ambitious climate change targets than our peers, that we’ll continue to meet.

“Overseas our programmes in some of the most climate-vulnerable countries have helped over 100 million people cope with the effects of climate change and provided almost 70 million people with improved access to clean energy.”