SEPA flies in the face of climate change

Rob Edwards reports that officials from the government agency that is championing the fight against climate change have taken 1500 "climate-wrecking flights" between Scotland and England in the last year.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has been sending its staff on an average of five or six mainland air trips every working day - at the same time as urging everyone else to "fly less" to help save the planet. The revelation has prompted criticism from a number of environmental groups, who accused Sepa of being a "serial polluter". Sepa accepted that it hadn't "got the balance right".

The Sunday Herald asked SEPA, under freedom of information legislation, to provide details of every flight within mainland Britain taken by its staff on official business in the past year. It provided a spreadsheet which extended to 28 pages.

It detailed over 800 journeys, involving around 1500 individual flights. The most frequent trips were between Edinburgh and London, but SEPA officials also flew regularly from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Birmingham, Manchester and a variety of other destinations in England and Wales.

Saving the planet with 1,500 climate-wrecking flights (, 26 November 2006)