Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has today announced that Scotland’s status as an international climate change leader will be reinforced through new proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90% by 2050.
A public consultation will shortly begin on a proposed Climate Change Bill to raise further the ambition of Scotland’s already world-leading emissions reduction targets.
Ms Cunningham announced details in the Scottish Parliament during a statement on the publication of 2015 statistics which show Scotland met its annual target for the second consecutive year.
She also set out measures the Scottish Government will take to support these climate change ambitions. These include:
- Establishing an expert advisory group to help with the finalisation of the draft Climate Change Plan before publication in early 2018;
- Helping communities reduce carbon emissions in their areas by reopening the Climate Challenge Fund for 2018-19 applications. This commitment builds on the £86 million investment in more than 600 communities since 2008;
- Investing in research to improve understanding of the benefits of blue carbon in Scotland which is the carbon captured in oceans and coastal ecosystems.
Ms Cunningham said: “Our proposals to reduce emissions by at least 90% by 2050 clearly indicates to the people of Scotland that we remain resolutely committed to the fight against climate change.
“Scotland has long punched above its weight on this issue. Moving towards new targets in our proposed Climate Change Bill will strengthen our position at the forefront of the global transition to a low carbon economy.
“As a country which has an international reputation as a climate change leader there is now a huge opportunity to reap the economic and social benefits of our efforts and for us to become a more sustainable economy. We are determined to seize this opportunity, and fulfill our moral obligations to future generations.”
In February 2017 Scottish Natural Heritage published a report on blue carbon that estimated that the amount of carbon stored within Scotland’s inshore marine protected area network is equivalent to four years of Scotland’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
The Scottish Government’s current target is to reduce emissions by at least 80% by 2050.