Scotland has slashed its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a fifth since 1990, according to new figures published by the Scottish Government.
The figures show that emission levels stood at 56.9 million tonnes in 2007, but have been reduced 19% on 1990 levels. The carbon cuts are credited to greener energy production through increased use of renewable energy, business and industry, the public sector, waste management, international shipping, housing and agriculture. The bad news is that emissions from international aviation and shipping have increased.
Power generation accounted for 36% of emissions, 22% from transport, 14% from agriculture and 13% from business and domestic fossil fuel use. The Scottish Government has committed to a 42% reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 levels, by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson said “These figures for 2007 are good news, which show that we are making continued progress in reducing our emissions against the 1990 baseline. The data also demonstrates the size of the task now facing us, and the rest of the world, in reducing emissions”
“While the reductions were generally seen as positive, some believe the Scottish government is not doing enough in the fight against climate change” said Stevenson.
Labour’s Des McNulty said: “Missing from the SNP government’s legislative programme last week were measures on transport, energy and other key sectors to meet the interim targets.
“The government should be focusing on reducing car use and investing in public transport, yet the only legislation coming forward in the next year is for the road-only Forth replacement crossing.”
WWF Scotland director Richard Dixon cautioned: “The big drop from the previous year only really shows Scotland getting back on track after burning much more coal than usual in 2006.
“There are big challenges to change transport policy, insulate more homes faster and reduce emissions from farming, but our targets are exactly the sort of level that every industrialised country needs to aim for if we are to head off the worst extremes of climate change.”
Sustainable transport organisation Transform Scotland said that although the figures were positive there was little chance of meeting climate change targets while emissions from the transport sector continued to rise.