Reducing emissions in Scotland – 2014 progress report

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This is our third report on Scotland’s progress towards meeting emission reduction targets, as requested by Scottish Ministers under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

The Scottish Act set a long-term target to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 80% in 2050 relative to 1990, with an interim target to reduce emissions by 42% in 2020 relative to 1990. Secondary legislation passed in October 2010 and October 2011 also set a series of annual emission reduction targets for 2010 to 2022 and 2023 – 2027 respectively.

In this report we assess latest emission trends accross the economy and for energy supply; homes and communities; business and the public sector; transport; agriculture; rural land use and forestry and waste.

The report finds that emissions in Scotland fell by 9.9% in 2011 – the latest year for which data is available. Despite a reduction in emissions, Scotland narrowly missed the legislated annual target of 53.4 MtCO2e by around 0.8 MtCO2e. This is as a result of recent improvements to the method of calculating estimated emissions (Scottish greenhouse gas inventory) which resulted in an addition of 1.2 MtCO2e to 2011 emissions. It should not distract from the assessment of underlying progress reducing emissions.

To allow for the effect of this revision, the Committee suggests either that currently legislated targets should be revised, or additional opportunities for reducing emissions be found.

Good progress has been made in a number of key sectors. However, further action will be required, in terms of policy development and implementation, to meet the targets set by the Scottish government.

David Kennedy explains the key findings of the report in more depth in this short video.

The advice is summarised in a letter from Lord Deben to Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change.

Full report - Reducing emissions in Scotland 2014 progress report