Emissions halved since 1990 in Scotland, new figures show

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 13 June 2018 in News

Scotland met its statutory annual climate change target for the third year running

Image credit: PA

Greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland have fallen by almost half since 1990, according to the latest official statistics.

The new figures for 2016, showing a 49 per cent reduction in emissions against the 1990 baseline, mean Scotland met its statutory annual climate change target for the third year running.

The statistics reveal a 10.3 per cent drop in emissions between 2015 and 2016, though transport emissions rose by 2.3 per cent.

Road transport emissions increased by seven per cent between 1990 and 2016, and now represent the largest source of emissions in Scotland.

Environment 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 per cent reduction target for 2050 and paving the way towards achieving net-zero emissions as soon as possible.”

Ministers said the figures put Scotland second only to Sweden (51 per cent) and ahead of Finland (42 per cent), Germany (25 per cent) and Denmark (23 per cent) among western Europe's EU-15 member states.

The draft climate change bill contains plans to target a 90 per cent reduction by 2050, alongside assurances that a net-zero emissions target will be achieved as soon as possible.

Under the draft plans, ministers will be required to keep the net-zero target date under review by seeking expert advice on the issue every five years.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said the fall in emissions “shows that setting ambitious targets is the best way to achieve results”.

She said: “The energy supply sector has seen the largest reduction in CO2 emissions, with a 68.5 per cent reduction since 1990. This demonstrates that phasing out fossil fuels in favour of clean, green alternatives is having the desired effect.

“The timing of this news couldn’t be better as we celebrate Onshore Wind Week 2018 and strive to create the best possible environment for the continued growth of renewable energy in Scotland.”

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