Scotland fails to meet climate targets - once again

Pollution cropped

‚ÄčEnvironmental groups say more must be done to meet ambitious targets

Graham Martin's photo

9th June 2015 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Environmental groups have expressed dismay after it was revealed  Scotland has failed to meet its climate change target for the fourth year in a row.

Greenhouse gas emissions fell by 3.6% between 2012 and 2013 to 53 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

However, this is way short of targets set out by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act, which requires a minimum 42% cut in emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

Targets set by the legislation, which was passed in 2010, have never been met.

Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition, which includes the country’s leading environmental groups, said: "This is disappointing. To ensure Scotland meets all of its targets going forward the Scottish Government needs to announce significant new policies. Greater action on climate change will let us build a healthier, fairer society and a stronger economy.

Greater action on climate change will let us build a healthier, fairer society and a stronger economy

"We'll be watching carefully to judge the ambition of ministers' future plans. In particular the transport sector has had a free ride so far and the Scottish Government must get serious about tackling emissions from cars and planes. We already have good policies for insulating people's homes but they must go much further if we're to tackle fuel poverty, create jobs and build a better Scotland.

“This time last year the climate change minister announced a new cabinet sub committee on climate change and it must now rise to the challenge of creating a low carbon Scotland.”

Scottish Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod is expected to make a statement on the issue today (Tuesday), but she has previously insisted Scotland remains "on track” to meet targets for 2020.

Professor Jim Skea, a member of the Committee on Climate Change which advises the Scottish Government, suggested that Scotland might actually be the victim of its own ambition.

He believes that Scotland has been leading the way in reducing emissions compared to the rest of the UK.

He said: "If you divide where Scotland is now versus where it was in 1990 it is actually among the world leaders. That is unambiguous.

"The difficulty is that Scotland has set itself more ambitious targets than many other countries, therefore it is a tougher job to actually hit them".