Category Archives: Scottish Parliament

Members’ Business Debate: Commemorating the 21st Anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide

Yesterday afternoon Michael Russell, MSP for Argyll & Bute, led a Member’s Business Debate commemorating the 21st anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide.

The official report of the debate can be read by clicking here.

The debate can be watched by clicking here.

The text of the motion and note on which MSPs supported the motion can be found here.

 

Russell elected as Convenor of Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee

Argyll & Bute Constituency MSP Michael Russell has taken over as the Convenor of the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament, which scrutinises  and co-ordinates the Parliament’s response to the Scottish budget  as well as looking at wider issues of national income and expenditure.

Mr Russell was chosen by the SNP as its candidate to lead the committee last week and was elected by  the committee yesterday (Wednesday).

Commenting after the meeting Mr Russell said ;

“I am honoured and a little daunted to be chosen for this role.   Given that there is now a minority government in Scotland the job of Finance Committee convenor will be to seek consensus on the budget,  to ensure that the Parliament’s new tax powers are introduced smoothly and effectively and to protect and develop the model for public scrutiny of the budget and public finances in Scotland which is regarded with envy in other places.

The Committee is also likely to expand its remit and to become the Finance and Constitution Committee in the autumn when the present review of committee functions by the Parliament’s Standards Committee is complete.  At that time the committee may wish to look more widely at the operation of the Scotland Act  as it has developed over the past two decades and consider the relationship between the Parliaments and the Governments.  

I look forward to working with my Conservative Vice Chair, Alex Johnstone MSP and with the committee members who come from the Conservatives, Labour and the Greens as well as from the SNP.  I also look forward to working with the new Finance Cabinet Secretary Derek MacKay.

 In addition I hope to invite the committee to visit Argyll & Bute at some stage in the future.

SCOTLAND EXCEEDS 2020 CLIMATE TARGETS SIX YEARS EARLY

Michael Russell MSP has welcomed news that Scotland has exceeded its world leading climate change targets – six years early.

New figures show that Scotland exceeded the 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42% in 2014.

Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK, with a 39.5% drop in Scottish source emissions between 1990 and 2014 compared to the UK’s 33% reduction over the same period. Scotland is one of the leading countries in Western Europe for reducing emissions.

The latest climate change statistics show Scotland’s emissions, for reporting against targets, have fallen by 12.5% year on year to 41.9 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2014.

This is a reduction of 45.8% from the 1990 baseline.

Commenting, Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell said:

“This is good news and makes a positive contribution to our planet.   Of course much more is needed but we should all be pleased that , having past world leading legislation in 2009,  Scotland is now making outstanding progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These statistics show that we not only met the annual 2014 emissions reduction target but also exceeded the level of our world-leading 2020 target for a 42% reduction, six years ahead of schedule.

“The reduction in residential emissions in 2014 may have been due – at least in part –  to people simply turning down their heating. This underlines that the actions of someone in Argyll and Bute, if repeated on a large scale, can have a big impact in tackling climate change.

“With climate change one of the defining challenges of our time, there is a real need to cooperate with our neighbours and internationally – which is  yet another reason why Scotland and the UK are better off remaining in the European Union.”