She said: “In Western Europe, only one of 15 EU states – Sweden – has achieved greater reductions. Our efforts are being recognised globally with Christiana Figueres, former head of the United Nations climate body, citing Scotland’s ambition on renewables and low carbon as a “shining example” to other countries.
“Scotland is a world-leader in tackling climate change, and these figures reaffirm that Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK as a whole and punch above its weight in international efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“We are not complacent and in response to increased global ambition in the Paris Agreement, the First Minister has confirmed the Scottish Government’s plan to legislate to establish a new and more stringent target for 2020 – one of reducing actual Scottish emissions by at least 50%.
“Through the drive and determination of this Government and by the actions of people, communities, organisations and businesses all around the country, Scotland can continue to show international leadership on this important issue.”