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CCC welcomes action to tackle climate change in Scottish Programme for Government

The Scottish Government’s plan for the coming year demonstrates its clear commitment to continue leading the UK in tackling climate change, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says today.

Welcoming Scotland’s Programme for Government, which includes a number of new policies to further reduce Scotland’s polluting emissions, CCC Chairman, Lord Deben, said:

“Scotland has led the UK in reducing its emissions and has ambitions to lead the world in tackling climate change: this Programme for Government suggests that vision is alive and well.

“We strongly welcome the bold package of measures set out today. Transport is the most polluting sector of the Scottish economy, so it’s good to see plans to clean up Scotland’s rail network by 2035 and investment in buses and an ultra-low emission public fleet, as well as last week’s announcement of further funding to improve charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Scotland’s buildings are some of the least energy efficient in Europe: we commend plans to consult on new building standards, steps to heat buildings using low-carbon sources of energy, and a commitment to make new public buildings carbon-neutral.

“There’s more to do. Scotland needs to build on the record rate of tree planting seen in 2018 and deliver a credible plan to tackle emissions from agriculture, amongst other things. That said, this Programme for Government shows Scotland is serious about its commitment to tackle climate change and aware of the associated benefits for the planet, the Scottish people, and the economy.”

The Committee will provide a detailed assessment of climate-related policies in Scotland’s Programme for Government in its forthcoming Progress Report to the Scottish Parliament, due in November.

Notes to editors

  1. Scotland has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions faster than any other UK nation. Emissions in Scotland are down 47% since 1990. UK-wide, emissions are 44% lower compared to 1990.
  2. Scotland has led the way in reducing emissions from its electricity sector (‘power sector’). Scotland has been coal-free since March 2016 and the vast majority of its energy generation (88%) now comes from low-carbon sources.
  3. The UK Government has an important role to play in reducing Scotland’s emissions. The key policy levers in some areas of the Scottish economy are ‘reserved’, and therefore controlled by the UK Government. The UK Government must deliver appropriate policies, particularly in areas such as vehicle standards, energy production and heavy industry, if Scotland is to meet its climate change targets.
  4. The Scottish Government has accepted the CCC’s recommendation that Scotland achieve ‘net zero’ emissions by 2045. The legislation required to change Scotland’s existing target (an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050) is currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament.