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by Jack Thomson
15 June 2021
Scottish Government misses target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions

Domestic transport remains the industry which emits the most (Picture: Shutterstock)

Scottish Government misses target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions

The Scottish Government has again failed to meet its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

The data for 2019 showed they fell 51.5 per cent from the baseline period, which is short of the 55 per cent target. 

Source emissions dropped slightly in 2019, but only because 2018 figures were revised upwards. 

Domestic transport remains the industry which emits the most, followed by business and agriculture.

Scotland's climate change legislation has a target of net-zero emissions by 2045, five years ahead of the UK Government target. 

The Scottish Government also has a series of interim targets, including 75 per cent by 2030 and 90 per cent by 2040.

Opposition parties have called for action from the SNP, following the publication of the figures this morning.

Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour spokeswoman for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, said: "Scotland’s climate targets were hailed as world-leading when they were introduced, however, the SNP has again missed its targets for reducing greenhouse gases. 

"The Scottish Government’s rhetoric on climate emergency is not being matched by action, and time is running out to protect people and planet.

"It’s hugely worrying that Scotland’s carbon sink is shrinking, with the level of greenhouse gases soaked up by forestry and land use falling sharply since 2011. 

"Empty promises and missed targets are not good enough in a climate emergency. In the year of COP26 when Scotland should be leading the world we are instead failing on the basics. 

"We need bold action now to get us back on track to meet these crucial targets."

Mark Ruskell, the Scottish Greens environment spokesman, said the figures showed Scotland is not reducing emissions fast enough to meet its international obligations. 

He added: "This is the third year in a row where Scotland has missed our emissions targets, and the Scottish Government need to wake up to the urgency required. 

"Forests and peatlands are natural carbon sinks, and we are not protecting our wild places enough or supporting farmers to lower emissions. 

"If governments are serious about traffic reduction then there must be a safe return to public transport in the months ahead with longer term investment to switch from roadbuilding to public transport and safer streets for walking and cycling.

"There must be a step change in Scotland’s policies to cut emissions, before it becomes irreversible."

Meanwhile, Liam McArthur, the Scottish Liberal Democrats' energy spokesman, said: "Once again, we’re nowhere near where we need to be in terms of reducing Scotland’s emissions. The Scottish Government’s warm words will make for an even warmer planet.

"It’s troubling to see emissions from domestic transport so stubbornly high. Progress has been made in other sectors, but transport hasn’t budged. If that doesn’t change soon, we’re in trouble."

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