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Scotland needs more action to meet climate change plans

Words: Huw Morris
Climate change / Shutterstock_86013754

Scotland must bring forward firmer policies on a range of sectors including transport and heating if it is to remain a world leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A progress report by the Committee on Climate Change, the statutory body that advises the UK government and devolved administrations on building a low-carbon economy, suggests that Scotland is performing well compared with the rest of the UK.

Emissions fell by 3 per cent between 2014 and 2015 to 38 per cent below 1990 levels. This compares with a reduction of 35 per cent since 1990 for the UK as a whole in 2015.

However, while the committee reported good progress in electricity, emissions from agriculture, transport and non-residential buildings have not fallen in recent years. Scotland’s ambitious emissions targets will require broader, economy-wide progress in future years, it says.

The Scottish Government’s draft Climate Change Plan sets out policies to reduce emissions into the 2030s to meet carbon targets. This also aims to lay the foundations for deeper emissions cuts beyond 2030.

The committee says the final plan, due next February, will need to set out firmer policies to meet these targets. Action taken now will pave the way to meet Scotland’s higher ambition to reduce its emissions by 90 per cent in 2050 on 1990 levels.

Reducing Emissions in Scotland: 2017 Progress Report to Parliament can be found on the Committee on Climate Change website (pdf).

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