The Scottish Government, to its credit, has prioritised a reduction in greenhouse gases, to the extent that it continues to outperform the rest of the UK, according to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). Total emissions fell by 10 per cent in 2016, compared to the previous year. Most of the latest decline came from electricity generation. The Scottish Government now aims to slash emissions by 90 per cent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The Herald has not been slow to criticise the government’s record in other areas; in this sober and far-reaching target, however, it deserves praise and encouragement. But the CCC also says that much more needs to be done in tackling emissions from transport, agriculture, forestry and land use. Emissions from transport have shot up every year since 2010. Last year alone saw a further two per cent rise overall. It is unclear, the CCC adds, how phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 will give Scotland a faster transition than the rest of the UK. The committee also queries whether voluntary measures in agriculture are sufficient. Tree-planting targets have also been missed. The message could not be clearer: unless real action is made, the long-term goals may not be reached. Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham could not have had a less unambiguous warning. The battle is far from over.
Herald 25th Sept 2018 read more »
Nicola Sturgeon’s government needs much tougher policies on cutting emissions from Scotland’s roads and farms to meet its ambitious CO2 reduction targets, experts have warned. The UK government’s committee on climate change (CCC) said the Scottish National party government was well on track to hit its 2020 target to cut emissions by 56%, reducing them faster than the UK as a whole. However, that was largely because of substantial gains from the closure of Scotland’s last coal-fired power station at Longannet in Fife in 2016 and gains from cutting CO2 emissions from waste, which were relatively easy things to achieve. While emissions from energy plummeted, transport emissions had barely fallen and made up more than a thi rd of Scotland’s overall emissions of 41.5m tonnes’ equivalent of CO2 (MtC2e) in 2016. To achieve Scotland’s post-2020 target to cut emissions by 66% by 2032 and by 90% by 2050, that volume of transport emissions needed to be cut heavily. “Transport is now Scotland’s biggest sectoral challenge,” the committee’s annual report to the Scottish parliament said. “The Scottish government’s ambition is good but we need to see much more action, particularly on road transport, if Scotland is to achieve more rapid emissions reductions than the rest of the UK.”
Guardian 24th Sept 2018 read more »
SCOTLAND “must move beyond” a voluntary approach if C02 emissions targets to help stop air pollution and global warming are to be met, a new report has revealed. The Scottish Government has set a target of a 90% carbon reduction by 2050, stopping short of committing to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. The Committee on Climate Change which has a statutory role as independent UK climate change advisers said progress needs to be improved and speeded up if ministers are to meet the fresh targets. They say ministers should introduce a plan for compulsory soil testing and assess whether fertiliser use falls, otherwise they should consider compulsory limits on fertilisers. The committee report, sent to Scottish ministers says that a focus on voluntary measures in the agricultural sector is “concerning” and that they “must move beyond” that approach.
Herald 24th Sept 2018 read more »
Today’s annual report to the Scottish Parliament made by the independent Committee on Climate Change has shown “Scotland’s progress in reducing emissions from the power sector masks a lack of action in other areas, particularly transport, agriculture, forestry and land use.” The Committee notes that emissions from the transport sector have increased in every year from 2010, with a further 2% increase in 2016 in Scotland. Matt McDonald, spokesperson for Transform Scotland said: “The Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan failed to set out sufficient action in the areas of walking, cycling, and bus use. So it’s unsurprising that it continues to go backwards in carbon emission reduction. The Government needs to focus its capital expenditure plans on sustainable transport rather than the carbon intensive subsidies for road use and aviation that form its current spending priorities.”
Transform Scotland 24th Sept 2018 read more »
A new report from the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has called on Scotland to increase its efforts to tackle climate change. In March, Carbon Brief analysed the Scottish government’s plans to meet a target of a 66% cut on greenhouse gas emissions by 2032, compared to 1990 levels. The analysis covers how the Scottish government does – and does not – expect to cut emissions over the next 15 years and how plans for a new Scottish Climate Change Bill could affect its ambition.
Carbon Brief 2nd March 2018 read more »