Leading environmental charity Changeworks has welcomed the appointment of Michael Matheson as the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, a crucial role in the all-important next five years for climate action.

Changeworks is also delighted at the news of the impending appointment of a dedicated minister for just transition, a sign that the Scottish Government is committed to tackling the climate emergency as part of Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19.

Changeworks Deputy Chief Executive Liz Partington said: “COP26 is coming up later this year, and that makes 2021 a very important year for actions to tackle the climate emergency.

“But the work cannot end with COP26. The next five years must see the climate and decarbonisation at the heart of all Scottish Government action. There are ambitious targets to meet, including a 75% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 ahead of a later move to net zero. We would urge the Scottish Government to treat this as a minimum ambition, not a stretch goal – the planet needs us to go further faster.

“Projects like decarbonising heat and transport and greening our economy cannot be done by Government in isolation. They will require the public, private and third sector to work together, as well as individuals and communities, and Changeworks stands ready to continue our work as a key partner. We are already working with partners all across Scotland to deliver ambitious projects, and we’re eager to do even more.”