The latest climate change statistics show Scotland’s emissions have fallen to 49.7 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2013.
This is a reduction of 38.4% from the 1990 baseline against which the targets are measured – and greater than the 31.7% reduction that was anticipated when Scotland’s ambitious climate change legislation was passed in 2009.
Since the fixed annual targets were set, the baseline has been revised upwards by 10.6 MtCO2e due to technical changes in the way carbon emissions are measured – meaning Scotland missed its 2013 target by 1.7 MtCO2e.
The figures also show that Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK as a whole, with a 34.3% drop in Scottish-source emissions between 1990 and 2013 compared to the UK’s 27.4% reduction over the same period.
Scottish Environment Minister Aileen McLeod said: “Scotland is well on track to meet our ambitious emissions targets – and if it had not been for successive increases to the baseline since the targets were established, we would have met, and exceeded, our target for this year – and the three previous years too.
“Of course, if our targets were easy to achieve they would not be ambitious enough. And these are the level the international community needs to meet if the international climate treaty to be agreed in Paris later this year is to stand a good chance of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius”.
Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland commented: “These figures are disappointing but show that the target was within reach.
“To ensure Scotland meets all of its targets going forward the Scottish Government needs to announce significant new policies. Greater action on climate change will let us build a healthier, fairer society and a stronger economy.
Official Statistics: Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2013 can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/06/1939