For the third year, Scotland has not met its annual target of reducing emissions
Scotland has missed its target of reducing greenhouse gas emission for the third year in a row.
Campaigners called the news “alarming” and said serious action must be taken by the Scottish Government.
Greenhouse gas emissions data from 2019 shows that Scotland has not met its annual target of reducing emissions. Three years of targets have now been missed ‒ for the years 2017, 2018, 2019.
Between 2018 and 2019, climate change emissions fell by 2.3% but the target level of a 55% fall from the baseline level was missed, with a reduction of 51.5%.
Urgent action is needed across all sectors, including in the transport sector, where progress on emission reduction is still lacking. Emissions have only reduced by seven per cent since 1990 but by less than one per cent since 2015.
Speaking on behalf of the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition, Jim Densham, campaigns and policy manager for Cycling UK in Scotland, said: “Despite a small fall in Scotland’s annual emissions compared to 2018 it is alarming that the Scottish Government has missed its 2019 target to reduce emissions by 55% since 1990.
“If the Government is going to be on track to meet the crucial target of a 75% reduction in emissions by 2030, it should be going beyond the targets, not regularly missing them.
“Instead of investing in expensive, high-carbon infrastructure ‒ £826 million is budgeted for spending on motorways and trunk roads this year ‒ expenditure must be directed towards projects that enable walking, safe cycling networks and accessible public transport routes that will also contribute to reductions in air pollution.”
Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, added: “With the UN climate summit, Cop26, being held in Glasgow this year, it is crucial that the Scottish Government show leadership when it comes to tackling the dual climate and nature crises and delivering climate justice for communities already impacted.
“The Scottish Government must place ambitious climate action at the centre of a just and green economic recovery from the devastating effects of Covid-19. Scotland needs to deliver transformational change to play a fair part in limiting global heating to less than 1.5 degrees.”
The Scottish government accepted the latest figures were "undoubtedly disappointing".
But a spokesman said it was clear "that we have already achieved significant progress in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions".
He added: "We are now more than half way to our target of becoming a net-zero nation. This is something we can all be proud of.
"We have always been clear that the second half of our journey to net-zero will be more challenging - and it will require urgent, collective action across government, parliament and indeed across every corner of society, in order to achieve it.”