Reducing emissions in Scotland – 2016 progress report

This is our fifth 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 sets a long-term target to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) by at least 80% in 2050 relative to 1990, with an interim target to reduce emissions by 42% in 2020. Secondary legislation passed in October 2010 and October 2011 also set a series of annual emission reduction targets for 2010 to 2022 and 2023 to 2027 respectively. We advised the Scottish Government on annual targets for the period 2028 to 2032 in March 2016 and July 2016.

The report reveals that Scotland’s annual emissions reduction target for 2014 was met, with gross Scottish greenhouse gas emissions, including international aviation and shipping, falling by 8.6% in 2014. This compares to a 7.3% fall for the UK as a whole. Since 1990, gross Scottish emissions have fallen nearly 40%, compared to nearly 33% at a UK level.

The report reveals that there has been good progress in deploying renewable electricity generation capacity in Scotland, and excellent progress in installing community and locally-owned energy projects (meeting the target for 500 MW of capacity five years early). Energy efficiency policy is well developed and has been designated a National Infrastructure Priority, although this is yet to be reflected fully in emission reductions. Progress has also been good in the waste sector with emissions falling 13% in 2014 and the introduction of a circular economy strategy and a food waste reduction target.

However, to meet Scotland’s ambitious targets beyond 2020, much more will be required, says the CCC’s report. Whilst emissions have fallen by an average of 3.3% per year since 2009, this has been mostly due to progress in the power sector with reduced coal and expanded renewable generation. Other sectors now need urgent attention.

The report can be found here.

The following supporting documentation is available:

Spreadsheet of report exhibits