Scotland outpaces rest of UK in carbon reduction, halving emissions since 1990

12th June 2018 | Commercial Energy

Scotland has met its statutory annual climate change target for the third consecutive year, achieving a 49% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions against a 1990 baseline.

The latest Scottish Government figures, released on Tuesday (12 June), show that the country surpassed its 2016 Climate Change Act goal of emitting less than 44.9 MtCO2e in 2016, instead emitting 38.6 MtCO2e. This puts Scotland on track to meet its 2020 target of a 42% carbon reduction as it continues to outperform the UK as a whole: the data reveals that England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland collectively achieved a 37.6% drop in emissions over the same timeframe.

Indeed, the only EU member state in western Europe to perform better than Scotland was Sweden, which achieved a 51% reduction in GHG emissions over the 26-year period.

“These statistics are hugely encouraging and show we have almost halved the greenhouse gases emitted in Scotland – underlining our role as an international leader in the fight against climate change,” Scotland’s climate change secretary, Roseanna Cunningham said. “We all have a role to play in that fight and I want to thank the households, communities and businesses who are working hard every day to reduce their own emissions, but we must go further and faster if we are to meet our responsibilities to our children, grandchildren, and future generations.”

Cunningham cited the nation’s draft climate change strategy, which has a headline target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 90% by 2050 and achieving a 100% reduction “as soon as possible”, as a way to speed up Scotland’s transition to net-zero emissions.

The strategy outlines plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds by 2030 as a milestone on the way to the ambitious 2050 goal, which has been hailed by the UK Committee on Climate Change as “at the limit of feasibility”.

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