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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 14 June 2007

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Trident: Patrick Harvie moved S3M-169—That the Parliament congratulates the majority of Scottish MPs for voting on 14 March 2007 to reject the replacement of Trident and calls on the UK Government not to go ahead at this time with the proposal in the White Paper, The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent.

Michael McMahonmoved amendment S3M-169.3 to motion S3M-169—

Leave out from “congratulates” to end and insert—

“affirms that defence policy is, and should remain, the responsibility of the UK Parliament.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 60, Against 66, Abstentions 0).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S3M-169.1 to motion S3M-169—

Leave out from “congratulates” to end and insert—

“notes that defence matters are wholly reserved to Scotland’s other Parliament at Westminster and that on 14 March 2007 a majority of MPs voted for the replacement of Trident.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 68, Abstentions 42).

Mike Rumbles moved amendment S3M-169.4 to motion S3M-169—

After “Trident” insert—

“recognises that decisions on matters of defence are matters within the responsibility of the UK Government and Parliament”.

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 18, Abstentions 43).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 71, Against 16, Abstentions 39).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament congratulates the majority of Scottish MPs for voting on 14 March 2007 to reject the replacement of Trident, recognises that decisions on matters of defence are matters within the responsibility of the UK Government and Parliament and calls on the UK Government not to go ahead at this time with the proposal in the White Paper, The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent.

2. Carbon Offsetting: Robin Harper moved S3M-173—That the Parliament notes the growing popularity of carbon offsetting among individuals and private companies; believes that actions by polluters to reduce carbon emissions elsewhere, or to mitigate the effects of climate change, can play a useful role in supplementing sound environmental policy by government; considers however that carbon offsetting cannot substitute for policies that reduce carbon emissions directly and that any role for offsetting should only be transitional; notes the widely held concerns about many commercial offsetting schemes and the difficulty in verifying the true value of most offsetting schemes; notes the Scottish Government’s intention to introduce carbon offsetting in respect of transport infrastructure projects, and calls on the Scottish Government, before introducing such proposals, to consider issues such as the need for rigorous independent assessments of the full direct and indirect carbon impact of each project and its associated offset, continuous updating of data for the lifetime of the infrastructure to establish any changes required to the annual offset funding, compliance with the internationally-recognised Gold Standard and the need to ensure that overall transport policy leads to direct emission reductions.

Stewart Stevenson moved amendment S3M-173.4 to motion S3M-173—

Leave out from “transport policy” to end and insert—

“policy, including transport policy, leads to direct emissions reductions.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 60, Abstentions 1).

Sarah Boyack moved amendment S3M-173.1 to motion S3M-173—

Leave out from “and that any role” to end and insert—

“or indirectly; notes the crucial role that transport policy must play in meeting carbon reduction targets and therefore calls on the Scottish Executive to ensure that potential carbon reduction is a central consideration in the evaluation and prioritisation of transport infrastructure projects; reaffirms support for a balanced and sustainable transport policy with the bulk of investment being targeted towards reducing unnecessary journeys and congestion, widening transport choices by providing high-quality and affordable public transport options and support for walking and cycling; further notes the Executive’s intention to introduce carbon offsetting, and calls on ministers to consult widely on the applicability and robustness of such schemes, demonstrating that carbon offsetting is additional to rather than a substitute for the direct or indirect planned reduction of carbon emissions.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 44, Against 81, Abstentions 1).

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S3M-173.2 to motion S3M-173—

After “and its associated offset” insert—

“and the related cost to the taxpayer of such schemes,”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 60, Abstentions 1).

Alison McInnes moved amendment S3M-173.3 to motion S3M-173—

Leave out from first “notes” to end and insert—

“applauds the introduction by the previous Scottish Government of the first-ever Scottish climate change target to exceed the Scottish share of the UK target by an additional one million tonnes by 2010; notes the intention of the current Scottish Government to introduce a climate change Bill; believes that this Bill and other government action should set challenging and achievable targets for reducing carbon emissions of at least 12.5% by 2010 and 60% by 2050; further notes the SNP manifesto commitment to annual targets to reduce carbon emissions; welcomes the commitment to a climate change Bill but believes that early action should be taken in advance of the Bill to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy use and support microgeneration; further believes that the public sector should take the lead by ensuring that all Scottish Government buildings and transport become carbon neutral by 2012; considers that carbon offsetting should normally be viewed as a last resort as a carbon reduction measure, and is concerned that the SNP Government’s transport plans and opposition to public transport plans will render existing and future plans to reduce carbon emissions unattainable.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 109, Abstentions 1).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 60, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the growing popularity of carbon offsetting among individuals and private companies; believes that actions by polluters to reduce carbon emissions elsewhere, or to mitigate the effects of climate change, can play a useful role in supplementing sound environmental policy by government; considers however that carbon offsetting cannot substitute for policies that reduce carbon emissions directly and that any role for offsetting should only be transitional; notes the widely held concerns about many commercial offsetting schemes and the difficulty in verifying the true value of most offsetting schemes; notes the Scottish Government’s intention to introduce carbon offsetting in respect of transport infrastructure projects, and calls on the Scottish Government, before introducing such proposals, to consider issues such as the need for rigorous independent assessments of the full direct and indirect carbon impact of each project and its associated offset and the related cost to the taxpayer of such schemes, continuous updating of data for the lifetime of the infrastructure to establish any changes required to the annual offset funding, compliance with the internationally-recognised Gold Standard and the need to ensure that overall policy, including transport policy, leads to direct emissions reductions.

3. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Alex Salmond).

5. Themed Question Time: Questions on Finance and Sustainable Growth and on Justice and Law Officers were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers and by the Scottish Law Officers.

6. Free Personal Care: The Parliament debated the subject of Free Personal Care.

7. Substitution on Committees: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-179—That the Parliament agrees the following nominated committee substitutes, as permitted under Rule 6.3A—

Scottish National Party

Audit Committee Sandra White

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee Nigel Don

Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee Stefan Tymkewycz

Equal Opportunities Committee Jamie Hepburn

European and External Relations Committee Keith Brown

Finance Committee Roseanna Cunningham

Health and Sport Committee Joe FitzPatrick

Justice Committee Aileen Campbell

Local Government and Communities Committee Tricia Marwick

Procedures Committee Alasdair Morgan

Public Petitions Committee John Wilson

Rural Affairs and Environment Committee Bill Kidd

Standards and Public Appointments Committee Bob Doris

Subordinate Legislation Committee Christopher Harvie

Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee Alasdair Allan

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2 and 7 as noted above.

9. Scottish Norwegian Commercial Co-operation: The Parliament debated S3M-0012 in the name of Rob Gibson—That the Parliament notes that Norway celebrates the 102nd anniversary of its independence on 17 May 2007; welcomes growing economic co-operation between Scotland and Norway to make the most of our sustainable marine hydrocarbon and renewable energy resources, our proximity across the North Sea and ongoing civic and cultural collaborations; in particular welcomes the announcement of a new partnership between Statoil and Scottish Power which aims to produce a commercially viable tidal energy device for a full-scale trial to be run within two years; considers that the Scottish Executive should work with the Norwegian government to create a North Sea electricity supergrid to serve continental markets with secure supplies of clean power, and also believes that the prospects for creating a direct sea route for freight and passengers to link our two nations should be pursued with vigour.

The meeting closed at 5.55 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
14 June 2007

Appendix
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

Legislative Consent Memorandums The following memorandums were lodged on 14 June 2007

Kenny MacAskill: Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Victims of Overseas Terrorism Bill (UK Parliament Legislation) (LCM(S3) 1.1)

Kenny MacAskill: Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Serious Crime Bill (UK Parliament Legislation) (LCM(S3) 2.2)