Letter: Committee on Climate Change: Advice to the Scottish Government on emission targets for 2023-2027 and credit use in 2013-2017

From: Lord Turner
To: Stewart Stevenson


This letter is in response to a letter from Roseanna Cunningham in March 2011 requesting advice on Scottish emission targets for 2023-2027, and the use of credits to meet targets in 2013-17.

We recommend that Scottish targets should be based on a 3% emissions reduction in 2023, 3.7% in 2024, 4.7% in 2025, 4.9% in 2026 and 5.1% in 2027. These would put Scotland on a path to an emissions reduction of around 60% in 2030 relative to 1990 levels.

We recommend that the aim should be to meet these targets through domestic emission reductions rather than the purchase of credits. This reflects opportunities for deep cuts to residential, non-residential, transport, and power sector emissions in Scotland, together with the need to achieve longer term emissions targets through domestic abatement.

We note that new emission projections for agriculture and LULUCF will shortly be available. To the extent these differ from the projections in our analysis, the recommendations above should be adjusted accordingly.

We also highlight the need for a future revision to these targets to align with the level of any agreed EU cap for post-2020.

For the period 2013-17, we recommend that the use of credits should remain an option at levels allowed under the Scottish Climate Change Act.

This is because currently legislated emission targets will be very difficult to achieve unless the EU moves to a more ambitious 2020 emissions target. Given the high degree of uncertainty about what will happen in the EU, it is prudent to keep open the possibility of credit purchase at this stage.

A decision on the balance of domestic action versus credit purchase, or possible revision of targets will be required in 2012, in light of any developments in the EU over the next months.

We set out the analysis that underpins these recommendations in an attachment to this letter.

We would be happy to discuss the analysis and recommendations further if this would be useful.