The Scottish Government has missed its greenhouse gas emissions target following a rise in pollution last year.
It means a massive turnaround will need to have been achieved in 2013 – a reduction of around 13.8% – to get back on track.
And Opposition Tory MSPs have urged the government to use nuclear power and allow shale gas drilling to help Scotland meet its self-set targets.
The scale of emissions across the country increased by 0.8% to a carbon dioxide equivalent of 55.665 million tonnes.
The target for 2012 was 53.226 million tonnes, while greenhouse gas levels in 2011 hit 54.252 million tonnes.
Last year, emissions from homes rose by 11.1%, which report authors blamed on 2012 being a colder year.
That was also the reason cited for a rise in public sector pollution of 4.3%, the report said. Carbon dioxide accounts for the vast proportion of emissions (75.2%) followed by methane (12.9%).
The report stated greenhouse gas emissions from transport have hardly changed since 1990, despite an overall pollution fall of almost 30% in that time.
Renewable energy only accounted for 29.9% of electricity generated in 2012, well short of the SNP’s 100% target to be achieved by 2020.
And – despite being dismissed by the Scottish Government as an insignificant energy source – coal contributed more energy than it did the year before.
The Scottish Conservatives have urged ministers to examine nuclear energy and fracking to boost energy production without impacting on the environment. Scottish Conservative environment spokesman Jamie McGrigor, MSP, said:
“The Scottish Government likes to talk a big game on climate change, but these figures show it isn’t matching that with action or results. Given the rise in emissions last year, the SNP is now getting further away from the target, not closer.
“A huge and probably unrealistic turnaround will be needed to get anywhere near those goals.
“The SNP should be looking to nuclear power and fracking as ways of boosting energy production without harming the environment.”
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