Scotland could become net-zero for greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, according to a new report. The study, for WWF Scotland, says reaching the target could be achieved “comfortably” if there is a political and social will for change. It follows a report to the UN last year which warned of the consequences of not achieving targets on global warming. The Scottish government has said it will set a net-zero target once it has a clear pathway to achieving it. A new Climate Change Bill is currently being debated at Holyrood which proposes reducing harmful emissions by 90% by 2050 – up from a previous target of 80%. The target covers a “basket” of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide and methane. The report, by Vivid Economics, says Scotland has “multiple advantages” to help it reach net-zero, such as an abundant potential for renewable energy and a large land mass for increased forest cover. Trees act as a “carbon sink” by soaking up carbon dioxide, meaning some industries would be able to continue emitting gases. The power and transport sectors can reach zero or near-zero emissions through advances in technology and a transition to electric vehicles, the report concludes. Emissions in industry, it adds, can be reduced by at least 60% without damaging productivity while agriculture could achieve a 35% drop while maintaining current production levels.
BBC 23rd Jan 2019 read more »