Published on June 13th, 2018 | by Joshua S Hill0
Scotland Hits Annual GHG Emissions Target Third Year Running
June 13th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill
Scotland’s Climate Change Secretary announced this week that the country met its statutory annual greenhouse gas emissions target for the third year in a row in 2016, which resulted in emissions being down 49% on a 1990 baseline.
Scotland announced on Tuesday the publication of its latest report detailing the country’s progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, based on its most recent and complete data, 2016. According to the new Official Statistics report from the Scottish Government, greenhouse gas source emissions were down 49% from 1990 to 38.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2016, representing a 10.3% decline since 2015. When these figures are adjusted to account for Scotland’s participation in European Union-wide emissions trading, they are down 45.2% to 41.481 MtCO2e in 2016, and down 2.5% from 2015.
In comparison to other western European countries, Scotland is second only to Sweden which has decreased its emissions by 51%, and they stand ahead of Finland with 42%, Germany with 25%, and Denmark with 23%.
“These statistics are hugely encouraging and show we have almost halved the greenhouse gases emitted in Scotland – underlining our role as an international leader in the fight against climate change,” said Scottish Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham. “But we must go further and faster if we are to meet our responsibilities to our children, grandchildren, and future generations.
“Our ambitious Climate Change Bill will ensure we do exactly that – by setting a new 90% reduction target for 2050 and paving the way towards achieving net-zero emissions as soon as possible.”
Of the basket of greenhouse gasses monitored by Scotland, it is unsurprising that carbon dioxide accounted for 70.8% of the total. The next closest was methane, which only accounted for 16.8%.
The largest source of net emissions in 2016 was the Transport sector with 14.4 MtCO2e, followed by the Agriculture and Related Land Use sector with 10 MtCO2e. The only sector which was able to display a net emissions sink was the Forestry sector, with -12.7 MtCO2e.
Expanding the timeline out to 1990, the emissions from the Energy Supply sector (such as power stations) from 1990 to 2016 was 15.6 MtCO2e, a 68.5% reduction. Waste Management Emissions such as those from landfills worked out to be 4.4 MtCO2e, a 72.8% reduction, while the decrease in the Business and Industrial Process sector was 5.8 MtCO2e, a reduction of 40.5%.
“It’s fantastic to hear that Scotland has hit its annual climate change target for the third year in a row,” said Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, the country’s renewable energy trade body, speaking in response to the report’s release. “The announcement today shows that setting ambitious targets is the best way to achieve results.
“The energy supply sector has seen the largest reduction in CO2 emissions, with a 68.5% reduction since 1990. This demonstrates that phasing out fossil fuels in favour of clean, green alternatives is having the desired effect.”
“It’s great news that Scotland has hit the annual target and reduced its climate emissions by 45% compared to the 1990 baseline and is well ahead of the 42% 2020 target,” added Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS). “Everyone who has played their part in achieving this reduction should be proud.
“Back in 2009, when Scotland’s first Climate Act was passed, there was no clear path to meeting the 42 per cent emissions reduction target and many were sceptical it could be achieved. Today’s results show that setting stretching targets works by driving innovation and strong policy delivery. This success, along with support from the public, leading scientists and farming groups, should give the Scottish Government the confidence to aim high once again and set a net zero emissions target, by 2050 at the latest, in the new Climate Change Bill.
“2016 reflects the first full year since the closure of Longannet power station, showing the big impact you can have by phasing out dirty coal and switching to clean renewables.”