Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions halved since 1990
14 June 2018 | Mitigation
Scotland has met its annual climate change target for the third consecutive year, new figures show.
Greenhouse gas emissions fell by 49 per cent from 1990 to 2016, and were down 10.3% from 2015, according to the data.
The adjusted figure for 2016, which takes account of Scotland's participation in EU emissions trading and is used for reporting against targets, showed a drop of 45.2% from the 1990 baseline, but a 2.5% increase from 2015.
The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 set a fixed annual target for 2016 of 44.933 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent, which has been met.
The Scottish Government said the latest figures show Scotland is set to exceed its current 2020 target to reduce emissions by at least 42% on baseline levels.
Ministers announced last month that they intend to set a further target to reduce emissions by 90% by 2050.
The decrease in emissions has been largely attributed to the closure in 2016 of the Longannet Power Station in Fife.
Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "These statistics are hugely encouraging and show we have almost halved the greenhouse gases emitted in Scotland - underlining our role as an international leader in the fight against climate change.
"We all have a role to play in that fight and I want to thank the households, communities and businesses who are working hard every day to reduce their own emissions.
"But we must go further and faster if we are to meet our responsibilities to our children, grandchildren, and future generations.
"Our ambitious Climate Change Bill will ensure we do exactly that - by setting a new 90% reduction target for 2050 and paving the way towards achieving net-zero emissions as soon as possible."
While the reductions were welcomed by environmental campaigners, concerns were raised over the Government's level of ambition, and an increase in transport emissions, up 2.3% from 2015 to 2016.
Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell said: "Progress on reducing the pollution that causes climate change is welcome but Scottish ministers cannot be serious if they think they are showing international leadership given they plan to slow down the rate of action.
"They are trying to wriggle out of setting a zero carbon target in the new Climate Change Bill, when other countries are already pressing ahead.
"A zero carbon target will drive the innovation we need in our economy to create new jobs, build warm homes and improve public transport.
"In particular, we need to see action from government to reverse the worrying trend of rising numbers of cars on our roads driving an increase in transport emissions."
Tom Ballantine of campaign group Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) said: "It's great news that Scotland has hit the annual target and reduced its climate emissions by 45% compared to the 1990 baseline and is well ahead of the 42% 2020 target."
He said 2016 data reflected the first full year since the closure of Longannet power station, "showing the big impact you can have by phasing out dirty coal and switching to clean renewables".
Source: The Herald