One of the key reasons behind the political demise of Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf goes back to a decision taken by the Scottish Parliament in 2019 to legislate for an interim 2030 target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 75% when compared to 1990 levels.

That decision went beyond what was seen as feasible by the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC), the body set up to advise governments on emissions targets. The CCC had suggested a 65 to 67% reduction in emissions by 2030 was a more realistic aim and consistent with Scotland achieving net zero emissions by 2045.

A month ago, the CCC pointed out that Scotland’s 2030 climate goals were “no longer credible”, with delays in publishing a climate action plan and further slippage in promised climate policies.

Rates of progress with the likes of tree planting and peatland restoration are “off track” stated the CCC. In response to that, the SNP-led Scottish government decided to drop its 2030 commitment, prompting an angry response from the SNP’s coalition partners in government, the Scottish Green party.

Membership of the Greens were due to vote on whether to remain in government with the SNP, but ahead of that, Humza Yousaf got in first and announced an end to the coalition agreement. That move quickly backfired and within days he was forced to resign.

Given the unique political arrangements in NI, it is unlikely that a similar scenario could play out here, but at the same time there are many parallels to be drawn when it comes to climate change legislation.

Back in 2022 our politicians, principally led by Green Party and Alliance MLAs, also decided to ignore advice from the CCC who, in recognition that NI is a major net exporter of food, suggested an 82% cut in emissions by 2050. Instead, they pressed ahead with a net zero GHG emissions target by 2050, despite warnings it would cost billions and deliver little in the global fight against climate change.

At a cash-strapped Stormont, the reality of that mistake is starting to hit home.