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Political leaders "gambling with the planet" as Scottish emissions target missed


Campaigners have said that missing the target is not just a statistical failure but part of a damaging pattern

Scotland has missed its annual emissions reduction target, for the ninth time in 13 years.  

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government announced it plans to scrap annual targets, along with its 2030 target after the Climate Change Committee said it was no longer credible.  

Campaigners have said that missing the target - the latest figures are for 2022 - is not just a statistical failure but part of a damaging pattern that is fuelling the clear and present danger to communities living in poverty worldwide who are disproportionately affected by climate change. 

Oxfam Scotland said this latest failure underscores the need for urgent cross-party collaboration to fairly raise significant new funds to invest in climate action that will unlock significant benefits for people in Scotland and help to address the escalating climate crisis. 

Lewis Ryder-Jones, Oxfam Scotland’s advocacy adviser, said: "This ninth failure in 13 years proves that, once again, team Scotland has lost momentum in the highest stakes match in town. With Scotland’s annual targets set to be scrapped, it’s deeply concerning that the annual climate goal posts aren’t just being moved, they’re being removed, creating a convenient smokescreen to mask an undeniable lack of sufficient climate action.  

“Our political leaders are gambling with the future of our planet, the lives of people in communities already being ravaged by climate change, and the survival of future generations: a reckless wager that we cannot afford to lose. The time for excuses and inaction is over.

“All political parties at Holyrood must now unite to drive forward ambitious, bold and decisive action, backed up by significant public investment raised through a range of fair taxes on those with the broadest shoulders and those most responsible for the climate crisis." 

Mike Robinson, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), said: “To miss yet another annual climate target, despite emissions in 2022 continuing to be affected by pandemic restrictions and a mild winter, reflects the ongoing absence of strong climate action by both Holyrood and Westminster governments.

“These results illustrate the failing that we and many others – including the government’s own climate advisors, the Climate Change Committee – have been highlighting for several years, and action continues to be particularly lacking in heating, transport and agriculture. The longer action to cut emissions is delayed, the greater the risks, higher the costs, and the longer people in Scotland miss out on the benefits of warmer homes, lower energy bills and cleaner air.

“The impacts of climate change on people’s lives, nature and the economy are becoming increasingly visible both here in Scotland and in the world’s poorest countries, where those least responsible for causing it are unfairly bearing the cost of its worst effects.

“People in Scotland want politicians to get on with addressing the climate crisis. To do this, and reverse the damaging trend of missed targets, governments must work together to fairly raise the funds to deliver a just transition and a more equal, healthier society.”



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