Scottish government to unveil climate change plans

19 January 2017 | Mitigation

The Scottish government is due to set out plans to meet ambitious new targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Ministers committed last year to cut harmful CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, with a new interim target of 50% by 2020.

The previous interim target of 42% was met in 2014 - six years early.

But the Committee on Climate Change said the decrease was largely down to a warmer than average winter reducing the demand for heating.

The independent committee monitors the government's progress on climate change targets.

Reduction targets are measured against a baseline set of figures from 1990.

Figures published last year - covering emissions from 2014 - showed a reduction of 45.8%.

The sectors responsible for the most emissions are energy, transport and agriculture.

Significant progress has been made in decarbonising the energy sector with the closure of Scotland's last coal-fired power station at Longannet.

But the climate change committee said "stronger policies" would be needed in the new Climate Change Plan and that "little progress" has been made in reducing emissions from transport and agriculture.

BBC Scotland has highlighted some policies which ministers have been urged to consider, including heat-pump district heating and a workplace parking levy.

Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), said: "The publication of the Climate Change Plan will make clear how serious the Scottish government really is about tackling the effects of climate change and creating a fairer, healthier country for us all.

"In order for Scotland to truly be a world leader, bold, ambitious policies are needed in areas such as housing, transport and renewable energy.

"SCCS are calling for a plan that delivers credible policies to ensure that commitments made, including those undertaken as part of the Paris climate change agreement, are met."

The Scottish government said it would set out a number of policies and proposals to reduce emissions on Thursday.

A spokeswoman added: "Scotland is recognised as a world leader for its ambitious action on climate change.

"We exceeded our 2020 emissions reductions target of delivering 42% emissions reductions six years early and are committed to building on this progress."

Source: BBC