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Summary

  1. The Equalities and Human Rights Committee will shortly take evidence on destitution, asylum and insecure immigration status in Scotland.
  2. The Small Business Bonus Scheme and regeneration of town centres are both raised during general questions
  3. Nicola Sturgeon is quizzed by opposition MSPs during first minister's questions
  4. SNP MSP Ross Thomson leads the lunchtime member’s debate on the impact on North East businesses of the hike in Non-Domestic Rates
  5. The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee will then lead a debate on its report The Draft Climate Change Plan - The Draft Third Report on Policies and Proposals 2017-2032

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

That ends Holyrood Live's coverage on another compelling day in Scottish Polictics

The UK government is to reject calls for a Scottish independence referendum before Brexit after Theresa May said "now is not the time".

The prime minister said the focus should be on getting the best Brexit deal for the whole of the UK.

Theresa May: 'Now is not the time' for Scotland independence vote

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said Nicola Sturgeon's demand for a vote by the spring of 2019 would be rejected "conclusively".

The first minister said blocking a referendum would be a "democratic outrage".

Nicola Sturgeon: This could be the day the fate of the union was sealed

Ms Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, told BBC Scotland: "It is an argument for independence really in a nutshell, that Westminster thinks it has got the right to block the democratically elected mandate of the Scottish government and the majority in the Scottish Parliament.

"You know history may look back on today and see it as the day the fate of the union was sealed."

Ruth Davidson: SNP must earn the right to hold indyref2

Have a good weekend and don't forget to joins us for the Scotland's Choice debates next Tuesday and Wednesday!

The Scottish Parliament is adjourned

Chamber
BBC

The Scottish Parliament is adjourned.

MSPs agree to Farriers (Registration) Bill - UK Legislation motion

Motion
Scottish Parliament

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee motion is unanimously agreed to

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee motion is uanimously agreed to.

Motion
Scottish Parliament

'Climate change leadership in the public sector must be addressed'

Factory with smoke
BBC

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee deputy convener Maurice Golden says the committee believes all sectors should be considered consistently in the plans.

Mr Golden says "climate change leadership in the public sector must be addressed."

He says the committee recognises Scotland's world-leading commitment in the area of climate change. 

Tory MSP says information on further engagement should be included in the final CCP

Tory MSP Maurice Golden
bbc
Tory MSP Maurice Golden

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee deputy convener Maurice Golden says there is a recognition that climate change must be tackled.

Mr Golden says the committee welcomes the scrutiny of the draft climate change plan by four committees.

He says overall the Scottish government's approach to develop the draft plan has changed.

The Tory MSP says the committee welcomes the intention to have wide ranging engagement but says this was not executed well enough.

Mr Golden says information on further engagement should be included in the final plan.

UK government "flip flopping" on approach - minister

Windfarm
BBC

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse says Scotland's remote and island communities are already demonstrating clean energy solutions.

Mr Wheelhouse says achieving the ambitious targets will require the belief and collaboration of parliament. 

The energy minister says the government are committed to the targets despite the UK government "flip flopping".

He says the direction of the UK government approach has shifted and that has caused difficulties. 

Minister says the draft climate change plan is a 'clear roadmap' to meet climate change targets

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse
bbc
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse says it has been a lively and interesting debate and says the 2009 Climate Change Act sets the 60 day timetable.

Mr Wheelhouse says the draft climate change plan sets out a clear roadmap on how to meet the government's climate change targets.

He says the government has built apon the previous RPPs and the TIMES model is very good and transparent.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell ask if carbon capture could be removed from the TIMES model and could it be rerun.

Mr Wheelhouse says the equivalent of over half of Scotland's energy comes from renewables.

'We have heard the wing and the prayer method on which this plan has been put through'

Tory MSP Peter Chapman
BBC
Tory MSP Peter Chapman

Tory MSP Peter Chapman says "the SNPs targets are laudable but are unlikely to be delivered." 

Mr Chapman says speakers have highlighted the tight timescale to scrutinise the government's plans.

The Tory MSP says it is to be commended that we are ahead of targets. 

He says there are questions around how much we can rely on technology which has not been invented yet. 

He says there are improvements that can be made in animal production. 

"We have heard the wing and the prayer method on which this plan has been put through." 

'We need to be more ambitious'

Labour MSP David Stewart
bbc
Labour MSP David Stewart

Labour MSP David Stewart says this has been an excellent debate.

Mr Stewart says climate change is here today, the impacts do not exist in some sort of Sci-Fi future.

He says: "Climate change salutes to no flags."

The Labour MSP says we need to boost energy efficiency, public transport and active travel and tackle fuel poverty.

He says concerns have been raised about the extent of active travel.

Mr Stewart concludes saying the climate change plan sets out a positive plan for the future but we need to be more ambitious.

'That means ceasing all fossil fuel development and, above all, it means no fracking'

Green MSP Andy Wightman
bbc
Green MSP Andy Wightman

Green MSP Andy Wightman says the actions required to hold to two degrees are actually outwith the bounds of politics in most countries.

Mr Wightman says global emissions need to peak now and start declining.

He says it means we need to leave two thirds of hydrocarbons in the ground.

"That means ceasing all fossil fuel development and, above all, it means no fracking," says Mr Wightman.

Draft plan lacks ambition and the Scottish government is not being clear enough says Lib Dem MSP

Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles
BBC
Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles

Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles says the draft plan lacks ambition and the Scottish government is not being clear enough. 

Mr Rumbles says air travel is the highest emitter of carbon and that is why it is not in the draft plan.

The Lib Dem MSP says Transport Scotland begins with the assumption that car use will increase by 27% by 2025.

He says the government's plan does not include expanding bus travel and they are actually curtailing the free-bus pass policy. 

Point of order

Neil Findlay
bbc

Labour MSP Neil Findlay says he makes a criticism of the way this debate has been timetabled.

Mr Findlay says: "The credibility of this parliament is at stake when we have debates curtailed like this and these are not debates just a series of speeches."

Deputy Presiding Officer Linda Fabiani says that is not a point of order and she suggests Mr Findlay take it up with his business manager.

The draft CCP 'falls short on ambition, transparency, credibility and on measurability'

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur
bbc
Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says: "The draft CCP falls short on ambition, transparency, credibility and on measurability."

Mr McArthur says the government targets on heat are "pretty staggering" but asks how credible they are.

The Lib DEM MSP says he hopes Carbon Capture Storage comes to fruition but asks if it is credible to use it in projected targets.

He says: "The final plan agreed in this parliament must do justice to the challenges we face."

Point of Order

Tory MSP Edward Mountain says he will put up with a lot of things but not being called an irresponsible farmer.

Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame asks if Mr Ruskell would care to revise his comments.

Mr Ruskell says he said "any knowledgeable farmer and he would assume Mr Mountain is one" 

'This is fruit that is so low hanging it is rotting on the ground'

Greens MSP Mark Ruskell
BBC
Greens MSP Mark Ruskell

Greens MSP Mark Ruskell says he is proud to be associated with the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Report.

Mr Ruskell says he has been left "frustrated" by the Climate Change Plan because of the lack of transparency.

The Greens MSP says carbon targets must be equally challenging across the sectors. 

He says delivering efficiency savings will save farmers money and says "this is fruit that is so low hanging it is rotting on the ground."

"We just need to get on and do it as any knowledgeable farmer in this chamber will know," he says.

Background: The TIMES model

Scottish Government
Scottish Government
Draft Climate Change Plan - the draft Third Report on Policies and Proposals 2017-2032

The Scottish TIMES model is a high level strategic model, covering the entire Scottish energy system, and containing thousands of variables capturing existing and future technologies and processes.

The model combines two different, and complementary, approaches to modelling energy: a technical engineering approach and an economic approach. The model uses this information to identify the effectiveness of carbon reduction measures in order to provide a consistent comparison of the costs of action across all sectors of the economy. The Scottish model was built by an international consortium of experts from E4TECH, E4SMA, KANORS, SYSTRA and Imperial College London and we are grateful for advice and assistance provided by the analytical team in the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

'Serious concerns' about the TIMES model

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish
bbc
Labour MSP Claudia Beamish

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish says the climate change plan builds on the work of all parties.

Ms Beamish says the final climate change plan must take on board the committee recommendations.

She says the committee recommends the Scottish government make the link between the CCP and other strategies more explicit.

Ms Beamish says there were "some serious concerns" about the TIMES model.

She calls for a modal shift on active travel.

Background: Peatland restoration plan to cut climate change gas emission


          There is an estimated 1.7 million hectares of peatland in Scotland
LORNE GILL/SNH
There is an estimated 1.7 million hectares of peatland in Scotland

An £8m fund to help restore Scotland's peatlands has been launched by the Scottish government.

The restoration work will help reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions by locking carbon into the environment.

It is estimated there are 1.7 million hectares of peatland in Scotland, much of which is eroding.

The funding will double the amount already restored from almost 10,000 hectares to 20,000.

The plan 'lacks transparency, accountability and credibility'

Tory MSP Alexander Burnett
BBC
Tory MSP Alexander Burnett

Tory MSP Alexander Burnett says the plan "lacks transparency, accountability and credibility."

Mr Burnett says it also relies too much on technology.

The Tory MSP says the strategy changes are not easily made in large infrastructure projects and the improvements in technology required makes it unreliable.

He says the Scottish government has placed "all its target eggs in one basket."

"The market clearly has no confidence in the EPC system," he says. 

Scottish government will introduce a new climate change bill with more ambitious target

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
bbc
Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham thanks the committees for their scrutiny of the draft climate change plan.

Ms Cunningham says the draft plan is building on strong foundation, as Scotland exceeded a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% - six years early

She says the government will introduce a new climate change bill setting a new more ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032, in the light of the Paris Agreement.

The minister says it is action on the ground that matters.

Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles asks if the APD reduction proposal will help.

Ms Cunningham says it is built into the overall targets of the plan.

'Walking and cycling has an important contribution to make to reducing emissions'


          Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee convener Edward Mountain
BBC
Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee convener Edward Mountain

Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee convener Edward Mountain says the committee struggled to scrutinise the Draft Climate Change Plan within the 60 days that are allowed.

Mr Mountain says the committee concluded that more time is required to scrutinise the plan.

The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee convener says agriculture is a difficult sector to de-carbonise and the good-will of farmers and land owners is important. 

He says there has been little progress made in active travel and only 1% of journeys were made by bike in 2015. He says this figure has remained at 1% since 2003. 

"Walking and cycling has an important contribution to make to reducing emissions," he says. 

Local Government and Communities Committee calls for 'strengthening of the plan'


          Local Government and Communities Committee convener Bob Doris
bbc
Local Government and Communities Committee convener Bob Doris

Local Government and Communities Committee convener Bob Doris says the climate change plan should support local government to make the necessary changes.

Mr Doris says there is a lack of focus on communities in the plan.

The SNP MSP says the plan recognises the vital contribution spatial planning can make in tackling climate change, but he calls for more detail.

He says the committee callled for strengthening of the plan.

'The committee supports the move towards low carbon heat'


          Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee convener Gordon Lindhurst
BBC
Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee convener Gordon Lindhurst

Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee convener Gordon Lindhurst says the whole world is waking up to climate change and the consequences of global warming.

Mr Lindhurst says climate change is a risk to the global economy.

The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee convener says lesser targets for some mean pressures for others.

He says the Scottish government has not shown its workings.

"The committee supports the move towards low carbon heat," he says, but is concerned about the pace of the changes. 

Background: Transport and agriculture sectors 'should cut emissions'


          The committee believes the transport and agricultural sectors should have more ambitious targets
bbc
The committee believes the transport and agricultural sectors should have more ambitious targets

Some of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases have the lowest climate change targets, according to a Holyrood report.

It said the transport and agriculture sectors needed to make a greater contribution than laid out in the Scottish government's climate plan.

Four Holyrood committees have been scrutinising the draft plan which will be debated by MSPs next week.

Ministers said they would consider all reports before finalising the plan.

Four Holyrood committees - led by Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform - have been scrutinising the Scottish government's draft Climate Change Plan.

In their joint report, the committees recognise that the ambitions are high but says some sectors need to do more to tackle the issue.

The Climate Change plan sets out targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for eight different sectors.

Call to revise the carbon envelopes of agriculture and transport to show greater ambition


          Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee convener Graeme Dey
bbc
Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee convener Graeme Dey

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee convener Graeme Dey gets to his feet to speak on behalf of the committee. 

Mr Dey says the aim is to deliver a climate change plan to deliver Scotland's climate change targets.

He says the committee's report was unanimous and contains recommendations to improve the climate change plan.

The committee convener says the draft plan is unclear in areas and he says there needs to be more transparency and clarity around the draft plan.

He says it is the view of the committee that agriculture and transport are not being challenged enough and their carbon envelopes should be revised to show greater ambition.

Background: Scottish government targets 66% emissions cut by 2032

The previous interim target of 42% was met six years early
Thinkstock
The previous interim target of 42% was met six years early

The Scottish government has outlined a new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032.

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham set out the government's  draft climate change plan  for the next 15 years at Holyrood.

She also targeted a fully-decarbonised electricity sector and 80% of domestic heat coming from low-carbon sources.

Opposition members welcomed the plans, but raised questions about budgets and specific issues like fracking.

However, the Scottish Greens said the plan showed ministers were "not listening to expert advice".

Reduction targets are measured against a baseline set of figures from 1990.

MSPs will now debate the reports on the draft Climate Change Plan

MSPs will now debate committee reports on the draft Climate Change Plan.

They are being asked to note the following:

Climate Change Plan
Thinkstock

All these reports are on the Scottish Government document,  Draft Climate Change Plan - the Draft Third Report on Policies and Proposals 2017-2032 .  

Government listening to concerns over business rates evaluation

Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart says the government engaged directly with businesses, including those in the North East, to listen to concerns about business rates.

Mr Stewart says the draft budget reduced the business rate poundage by 3.7% and taking 100,000 business out of business rates altogether through the Small Business Bonus scheme.

Kevin stewart
bbc

Mr Stewart says the government provided further support where it is most needed: 

  • capping business rates increases for 8,500 firms in the hospitality sector.
  • the 12.5% cap on any rise will also apply to more than 1,000 office premises in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire
  •  a package of relief for the renewables sector.

An assessment of how much each Scottish firm will pay in non-domestic rates is currently under way, and is due to take effect from April.

The last revaluation in Scotland was carried out in 2010 - and there has been considerable disquiet from companies who will see big increases in the amount they have to pay.