Scotland has met its statutory annual climate change target for the third year running, after achieving a 49% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The latest figures, which are calculated against a 1990 baseline, show the country is set to exceed its current 2020 climate change target and continues to outperform the UK as a whole.
In western Europe, amongst the EU-15 member states, Scotland is second only to Sweden (51%) and ahead of Finland (42%), Germany (25%) and Denmark (23%).
The statistics also reveal emissions of the single most significant greenhouse gas – carbon dioxide – have fallen by more than 50%.
Roseanna Cunningham, the Scot-Govt minister for the environment, commented: “These statistics are hugely encouraging and show we have almost halved the greenhouse gases emitted in Scotland – underlining our role as an international leader in the fight against climate change.
“But we must go further and faster if we are to meet our responsibilities to our children, grandchildren, and future generations.
“Our ambitious Climate Change Bill will ensure we do exactly that – by setting a new 90% reduction target for 2050 and paving the way towards achieving net-zero emissions as soon as possible.”
13 Jun 2018