Scotland

Climate change policy

The Scottish Government’s commitments to tackling climate change are set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act (2009). This requires a minimum 42% cut in emissions by 2020 (including international aviation and shipping) and defines annual emission targets from 2010-2050. The commitments represent the most stringent reduction targets in the UK.

Under the Act, Scottish Ministers are also required to seek advice from the CCC on the levels of annual targets. Plans and policies for meeting these targets are published in the Scottish Government’s latest strategy.

Emission levels in Scotland

The latest available data shows that overall emissions were 55.7 MtCO2e in 2012 (9% of the UK total).

Like the UK’s carbon budgets, Scotland’s emission targets are measured after taking account of trading in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which covers the power sector and energy-intensive industries.

In 2012, once this trading is taken in to account, Scotland’s emissions were 0.5% higher than 2011 levels (at 55.4 MtCO2e), and 30% lower than 1990 emissions. The rise in emissions in 2012 reflects an increase in coal generation and a rise in residential emissions as a result of cooler temperatures in 2012 compared to a mild 2011 leading to increased heating demand.

Advice provided by the CCC

Since Scotland’s Climate Change Act was passed in August 2009, the CCC has advised Scottish Ministers on various aspects of Scotland’s climate change programme, including the following:

  • Annual reports on progress towards meeting climate change objectives. The latest one is here.

 Latest news and publications for Scotland

 

News & Blog posts

Progress in reducing emissions in Scotland 2016

Infographic: Scottish progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

This infographic explains how greenhouse gas emissions are reducing in Scotland. It accompanies the Committee’s 2016 progress report to the Scottish Parliament.

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Scotland hits latest emissions reduction target, but action needed in transport, buildings and agriculture to maintain progress

Scotland is leading the UK in greenhouse gas emissions reductions, but much more needs to be done to ensure future targets are met, according to a new report for the Scottish Government published by the Committee on Climate Change today.

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Maintain high Scottish ambition to tackle climate change and deliver 61% emissions reduction by 2030, says CCC

The Scottish Government should maintain its high ambition pathway towards greenhouse gas emissions reductions of at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says today. The Committee’s new report, Scottish emissions targets 2028-2032, recommends emissions reductions of 61% by 2030 in order to meet the requirements of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act. This would go beyond the UK ambition for that period. It …

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Good progress but much more to do to fulfil Scotland’s ambition

A new report published today by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC)  concludes that Scotland has continued to make good progress towards meeting ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but that the Scottish Government will need to strengthen key policies to meet future targets.

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First CCC meeting north of the border

On a cold January day, I joined our Chairman Lord Deben, other members of the Committee on Climate Change and colleagues from the CCC secretariat on the train at Kings Cross to head to Edinburgh for our January Committee meeting. This was the Committee’s first meeting to be held outside of London, and the first to be open to the public. We had invited a number of stakeholders to submit …

Gross greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by almost 10% in Scotland – 25 March 2014

Scotland has continued to make good progress towards meeting ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Committee on Climate Change announced in its latest report. Emissions in Scotland fell by 9.9% in 2011 – the latest year for which data is available – compared with 6.9% in the UK as a whole. In particular there were large reductions of over 20% in the power and residential sectors, and almost …

Scotland makes good progress in implementing its climate change strategy – 12 March 2013

Scotland has continued to make progress reducing emissions, according to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The CCC today published its second progress report to Scottish Ministers, as requested under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act (2009). Scotland is committed to a series of annual emission reductions targets, which are currently legislated from 2010 to 2027. The report assesses progress against the first (2010) target. It finds that although the target …

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Good progress made in Scotland to reduce emissions – 31 January 2012

Good progress has been made in Scotland since 2009 to reduce emissions in order to tackle climate change, according to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The CCC today published it first progress report on emission reductions in Scotland, as requested by Scottish Ministers under the Climate Change Act (2009). Emissions fell in Scotland by 7% in 2009, mainly due to the impact of the recession and a reduction in …

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ASC report shows Scotland could become increasingly vulnerable to climate change and should strengthen action to prepare – 24 November 2011

A report published today by the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the UK Committee on Climate Change (ASC) finds that over coming decades, Scotland could become increasingly vulnerable to impacts of climate change unless it strengthens measures to adapt. This first independent assessment finds that the Scottish Government has made good progress in putting in place a strategic and structured approach to adapting Scotland to a changing climate.  They have made a …

CCC recommends annual emission targets for Scotland that halve emissions by 2025 – 4 July 2011

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has advised the Scottish Government to adopt climate change targets for 2023 – 2027 which would require annual emission reductions of between 3% and 5%. The targets represent a cost effective path to longer term emissions targets, and an appropriate contribution from Scotland to required global emissions reductions. They would put Scotland on track to a 51% reduction in 2025 and a 60% reduction …

Scotland advised to cut emissions by 3.5% each year from 2020 to 2050, to make a fair contribution to tackling climate change – 1 February 2011

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) today advised the Scottish Government to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 3.5% each year from 2020 to 2050, as a ‘fair and safe’ contribution to tackling climate change. The Committee was asked by the Scottish Government to recommend a cumulative emissions budget for Scotland for the period 2010 to 2050, to ensure that Scotland makes an appropriate contribution to wider global …

Update on Scottish climate change legislation

By Laura McNaught, Senior Analyst on the Devolved Administrations at the CCC It has been a busy spring and summer for the Scottish Parliament where further legislation relating to the Scottish Climate Change Act has been made.   Before the Act received Royal Assent on 4th August 2009, Scottish Ministers asked the Committee for advice relating to a number of the key provisions of the Act, including on the highest achievable …

Scottish Government enacts CCC advice on climate change – 21 April 2010

The Scottish Government today reflected the advice of the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in its implementing framework for the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Within the package of secondary legislation proposed today, the Scottish Government reaffirmed its commitment to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases in Scotland by 42% by 2020 – a challenging target which would, if achieved, put Scotland on a path to meeting the 2050 …

Scotland’s climate change targets are ambitious but achievable with new policies – 24 February 2010

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) today advised the Scottish Government that the climate change targets set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act are ambitious, but would be achievable following a tightening of the EU framework in response to a global deal to cut emissions. Delivering the targets will require that steps are taken to significantly strengthen and to add to existing policies in key areas. The 2020 target …

Scottish Environment Minister welcomes CCC’s calls for a step change in the pace of emissions reduction to meet carbon budgets – 29 October 2009

David Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) was today joined by Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney, at the Scottish launch of the Committee’s first annual report to Parliament. The Climate Change Act requires the CCC to report to the UK Parliament each year on emissions reductions relative to the UK’s carbon budgets. The CCC’s first report to Parliament concludes that a …

Publications

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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 …

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Meeting Carbon Budgets – 2016 Progress Report to Parliament

This is the Committee’s eighth annual report detailing the UK’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting carbon budgets. The report shows that UK emissions have fallen rapidly in the power sector, but that progress has stalled in other sectors, such as heating in buildings, transport, industry and agriculture.

Scottish emissions targets 2028-2032 – The high ambition pathway towards a low-carbon economy

The Climate Change Act (Scotland) 2009 requires Scottish Ministers to request advice from a “relevant body” when setting Scottish climate change targets. The relevant body at present is the Committee on Climate Change, and this report sets out the Committee’s recommended annual emissions targets for 2028-2032. Scotland has made good progress in reducing its emissions to date. In 2013, emissions had fallen by 38% on 1990 levels and are on track to …

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Reducing emissions in Scotland – 2015 progress report

This is our fourth 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 …

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Letter: Inclusion of Nitrogen Trifluoride in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 targeted gases

To: Dr Aileen McLeod MSP, Scotland Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform A letter from Lord Deben advising on the inclusion of the fluorinated greenhouse gas Nitrogen Trifluoride (NF3) in the list of targeted greenhouse gases under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Read the letter.

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Letter: Update on the work of the Adaptation Sub-Committee for Scotland

A letter from Lord Krebs, Chairman of the Adaptation Sub-Committee updating on progress regarding the assessment of the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme and the Climate Change Risk Assessment.

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Reducing emissions in Scotland – 2014 progress report

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 …

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Reducing emissions in Scotland – 2013 progress report

This is our second 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 20111 also …

Reducing emissions in Scotland - 1st progress report

Reducing emissions in Scotland – 1st Progress Report

This is the Committee’s first progress report on emission reductions in Scotland, 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% relative to 1990, with an interim target to reduce emissions by 42% in 2020 relative to 1990. This report sets out our views on progress towards meeting these targets and …

How well is Scotland preparing for climate change?

How well is Scotland Preparing for Climate Change?

Adaptation Sub-Committee report to Scottish Government – November 2011 This the ASC’s first report to Scotland. Following reports on how well the UK is prepared to deal with climate  change, the ASC was asked by the Scottish Government to undertake an  evaluation of how well Scotland is preparing for climate change. This  report provides an independent assessment of Scotland’s preparedness for  climate change, based on the ASC’s preparedness ladder. The …

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Letter: CCC response to request for further information on Scottish targets for 2023-2027 – 1 August 2011

From: David Kennedy to: Dr Liam Kelly Excerpt: Our assessment against the criteria in the Act suggests that the costs, and fiscal and competitiveness impacts associated with the recommended targets are manageable. The same is true of impacts for rural communities and wider environmental impacts, while fuel poverty is an important issue which should be addressed through a combination of energy efficiency improvement and targeted support to low income households. …

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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 Extract: 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 …

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Letter: Scotland advised to cut emissions by 3.5% each year from 2020 to 2050 – 31 January 2011

From: Lord Adair Turner To: Roseanna Cunningham MSP Extract: The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) today advised the Scottish Government to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 3.5% each year from 2020 to 2050, as a ‘fair and safe’ contribution to tackling climate change. The Committee was asked by the Scottish Government to recommend a cumulative emissions budget for Scotland for the period 2010 to 2050, to ensure …

Scotland's path to a low-carbon economy

Scotland’s path to a low-carbon economy

Following on from the adoption of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act  in August 2009, the Committee were asked to advise Scottish Minsters on  issues relating to the climate change targets in the Act. “Scotland’s  path to a low-carbon economy” sets out the Committee’s advice on how  Scotland can meet its ambitious 2020 target, to reduce emissions of all  greenhouse gases by 42%, and on the level of annual targets in …