The Scottish Government announced plans last week to increase its greenhouse gas emissions target to a reduction of 66% by 2032 on 1990 levels, having already achieved its 2020 target of reducing emissions by 42% — six years ahead of schedule.
Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham revealed the plans last week, detailing proposals to achieve a 66% reduction in Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2032 — “a new level of ambition” for a country which has already achieved so much. It was reported in early 2016 that Scotland had already surpassed its 2020 emission reduction targets in 2014 — six years ahead of plans.
In 2016, Scotland also committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, while also increasing the 2020 interim target up to 50%.
Scotland is also home to some of the most impressive wind records, repeatedly seeing the entire country’s electricity needs supplied and oversupplied by wind energy. Scotland’s renewable energy expertise is so well-honed at home that it is now being sought after around the world, and as of December, Scottish renewable energy businesses were involved in projects across more than 40 countries.
So it should come as no surprise that Scotland’s Government — which has been one of the world’s leading governments supporting renewable energy — has upped its ambitions. Released last week, Scotland’s draft Climate Change Plan has proposed setting its next greenhouse gas emissions target at a reduction of 66% over 1990 levels. Further, the draft plan also includes the following:
- Scotland will have a fully decarbonized electricity sector able to remove CO2 from the atmosphere
- 80% of domestic heat will be provided by low carbon heat technologies
- The proportion of ultra-low emission new cars and vans registered in Scotland annually will reach at least 40%
- 250,000 hectares of degraded peatlands will be restored (against 1990 levels)
- We will have increased our annual woodland creation target to create at least 15,000 hectares per year
“Our proposals for further deep cuts in emissions represent a new level of ambition which will help maintain Scotland’s reputation as a climate leader within the international community,” said Ms Cunningham. “But it will be the judgement of our children, grandchildren and, indeed, future generations which matters most.”
Ms Cunningham had just finished speaking to a group of young people at Currie Community High School who are studying climate change, and her words mirrored the setting. “In the years ahead, I want our young people to be able to look back and take pride in what we have achieved,” she explained.
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