17 November 2010

Scotland’s low carbon future


Scotland’s route map to cut emissions every year was laid in Parliament today.

Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson today published a major report - the draft Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP) - showing how Scotland is combating climate change and is poised to take advantage of the huge economic opportunities of a low carbon society

The RPP shows that Scotland is on track to deliver a 42 per cent cut in emissions by 2020 compared to 1990. But that the EU and UK must follow Scotland’s lead and set tougher targets in line with global climate change need. Today’s report also presents additional options to drive emissions down and ensure Scotland’s annual targets can be met each year to 2022.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Our world-leading targets, to reduce emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and by at least 80 per cent by 2050 are driving new thinking, new technologies, new solutions and new investment. That will ensure Scotland is an early adopter at the forefront of a sustainable, modern, low-carbon economy.

“A range of policies and proposals have been identified in this draft RPP that continue momentum in 2011-12 and show how the annual targets can be met each year to 2022. Other countries are facing similar challenges, and Scotland can be a pioneer and seize this opportunity to demonstrate how a responsible nation can establish an economic advantage through our approach to tackling climate change.

“We need to start looking at the things that we all need to do less of in the future; and the things that we need to do more of. This is the starting point and we look forward to these issues being debated over the next few months.”

Ian Marchant, Convener of Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group and Chief Executive of SSE said:

“This report demonstrates that existing and identified Scottish policies deliver the required 42 per cent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and is to be welcomed. The 2020 Group urges Government to translate this report into a rolling programme of policy delivery.

“Work to develop and implement the full range of proposals much remain a very high priority. This offers Scotland the real prospect of maintaining and developing its competitive advantage in emerging clean technologies. It will also secure the benefits to all sectors of society and the economy from the wide range of related social, health, employment, environment and quality of life improvements which tackling climate change offers.”


The RPP is required under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act to set out proposals and policies for meeting annual emissions reductions targets from 2010 to 2022.

If the EU were to move to a 30 per cent target for 2020 and tighten the EU Emissions Trading System (EST) cap from 2013 accordingly, Scottish emissions would be reduced by a four percentage points in 2020 beyond the 38 per cent reduction achievable through Scottish policies alone. It is the Scottish Government’s firm policy to press the EU to move to 30 per cent and to press the UK Government to match Scotland’s target of 42 per cent. (RPP, p20)

The draft Report will now be considered in Parliament for a 60-day period, and a final Report will be published in the New Year. This report is linked to:
  • the Low Carbon Economy Strategy (published on 15 November), which sets the policy direction for low carbon economic opportunities, and strengthen business confidence in exploiting those opportunities;
  • the Energy Efficiency Action Plan (published on 6 October), which sets out in detail the actions the Scottish Government is taking to achieve a step change in energy use; and
  • the Draft Electricity Generation Policy Statement (published on 17 November), which provides evidence on recent important developments in Scottish electricity generation.
  • the Public Engagement Strategy (to be published by the end of the year), which will explain our approach to informing people about what they can do to help Scotland take action on climate change.
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