KEY actions are needed by the Scottish Government to intensify its efforts to tackle climate change according to a group of business leaders and environmental activists.

The Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG) has developed a 12- point plan that Holyrood needs to implement now to ensure temperatures do not rise 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, with experts warning there are just 12 years left to avoid breaching that.

CERG members have welcomed the First Minister’s commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland by 2045, and want to support the action that requires.

The steps proposed by the group include signalling that every one of Scotland’s city centres will be vehicle emission-free by 2030 and enhancing building standards to deliver zero-carbon homes and buildings.

It also suggested producing advice for the public on sustainable, climate-friendly, healthy diets and mobilising the £11 billion of annual public procurement to “support the product and service innovation the climate emergency response needs”.

A £100m Agricultural Modernisation Fund is proposed, along with completing plans for how we generate the renewable electricity needed to reach net-zero climate emissions.

The Scottish Government has said its Programme for Government will set out important further detail on Scotland’s declaration of a climate emergency.

Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “We are already witnessing the effects of climate change, and now is the moment when we must accelerate our response if we are to avoid the worst effects and secure the many social and economic benefits of moving to a climate neutral economy.

“This is the time for us all to support strong changes to policy and programmes in response to the climate emergency, and this report sets out our initial recommendations for the Scottish Government’s leadership role.

“The adoption of these policies by the Scottish Government would demonstrate world-leading commitment, slashing our emissions and showing where the rest of the world can follow us.”

Teresa Bray, chief executive of Changeworks, said Scotland had a proud record of leading the way: “We did so in the industrial revolution, now it is time for us to do so in the face of a climate emergency. The International Panel on Climate Change has said that we have just 12 years left to get ourselves on a pathway to avoid breaching 1.5 degrees of warming, a disaster for people and nature.

“That’s only 2000 working days – an extreme time scale to accelerate action. But, as the actions we are recommending show, it is achievable and can be a huge social and economic opportunity for Scotland.”

Daisy Narayanan, Sustrans’ director of urbanism, said: “These actions will help everyone – individuals, communities and business – to adopt low carbon lifestyles and support a more prosperous society and economy.

“Transformations to make our cities more liveable, warm homes for all, low carbon diets and support to help farmers meet these new demands – these policies must be the next steps in a just transition to an economically successful and climate-friendly Scotland.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “As part of our response to the global climate emergency, we are putting climate change at the heart of our Programme for Government and will be announcing details of this shortly.

“We continue to look across our whole range of responsibilities to make sure we continue with the policies that are working and identify areas where we can go further, faster.

“We will meanwhile update our Climate Change Plan within six months of the Climate Change Bill receiving Royal Assent, ensuring our longer-term actions match our ambitions.”