Carbon emissions figures show need for more ambition

The 2008 Scottish climate emission figures published today show a 3% reduction over the year excluding emissions trading, and a total reduction since 1990 of 21%. Despite a pledge in their 2007 manifesto, SNP Ministers have proposed a no-change emissions target for this year and just 0.5% reductions for 2011 and 2012. These targets were rejected both in Committee and in the Chamber in May this year.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"After twenty years Scotland is only halfway to the first big climate milestone with only about nine years to go, so far more rapid reductions are needed over the coming years. Some progress has been made on renewables, but next to nothing on heat, on energy efficiency or on transport. The Scottish Government has been in breach of Parliament's Climate Change Act since June, and that will not change unless the SNP accept the shortcomings in their current approach and come back to Parliament with a plan ambitious enough to receive cross-party support.

"The emissions reductions which have followed the recession are not guaranteed in the long term; unless the Scottish Government acts now to reduce fossil fuel dependence and to use energy much more efficiently, then Scotland's emissions will shoot back up, and so too will costs for households and businesses. A low carbon economy can't be built by mere wishing, or by Government using short term statistics to justify inaction. Only radical policy change will achieve the clean, green future which Scotland needs."

Page 29 of the SNP manifesto stated: "In government we will introduce a Climate Change Bill with mandatory carbon reduction targets of 3% per annum and also set a long-term target of cutting emissions by a minimum of 80% by 2050 – above the UK target of 60%."