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Carbon emissions report reads “could do better”

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​Scotland has reduced it's carbon emissions by almost 10% but still missed its target.

The Scottish Government must do more to reduce carbon emissions according to environmental campaigners.

The Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) coalition said the government should up its action to hit its ambitious climate change targets following the publication of a new assessment which showed Scotland failed to meet its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2011.

The report, published by the UK Committee on Climate Change (UK CCC), said Scotland was making some headway with gross emissions falling by 9.9% but that it had missed its legally binding target by 0.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e).

Scotland’s climate change targets are challenging, as they should be given the global impact of climate change.

The UK CCC made a number of recommendations, including rolling out the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme, which was piloted in seven locations across Scotland and encouraged people to use public transport and to cycle and walk more.

Tom Ballantine, chair of SCCS, said: "Taking action on climate change will create a better Scotland, where we have warmer homes, healthier transport options, and cleaner air.

"Scottish Ministers can make changes right now to ensure that emissions from all sectors reduce year on year.

Paul Wheelhouse, minister for environment and climate change.
Paul Wheelhouse, minister for environment and climate change.

“The CCC is right to say that additional opportunities must be found to reduce Scotland’s emissions. Stop Climate Chaos would like to see quick action from the Scottish Government on these recommendations."

The UK CCC, which is an independent, statutory body established under the UK Climate Change Act 2008, also suggested the Scottish Government increase support and funding for those who want to heat their homes and businesses using renewable energy such as solar and small-scale biomass.

It said Scotland’s failure to meet its target could be explained by the recent revision of the Scottish greenhouse gas inventory, which added 1.2 million MtCO2e to the estimated emission in 2011.

It added that revising year on year targets in relation to this could make a difference as could finding new ways to reduce emissions that go beyond current policies.

Paul Wheelhouse, minister for environment and climate change, said the report highlighted Scotland was doing better than the UK as a whole.

He said: “Scotland’s climate change targets are challenging, as they should be given the global impact of climate change.

“I note the committee's advice regarding the impact of revisions to the Scottish greenhouse gas inventory data for 2011 and subsequent years, and will closely examine both options identified to address the challenge this has created.”

 

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