Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, is warning Scottish Government ministers to wake up to the challenge of cutting climate emissions as tougher targets appear on the horizon.

Today (10 June) ministers announced that Scotland has missed, for the third year in a row, the target set out in the 2009 Climate Change Act and that Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions rose by 400,000 tonnes between 2011 and 2012.

The 2012 target was for a 178,000 tonne drop in emissions. The next target, for 2013, will now require a drop from 55.7 million tonnes to 47.9 million tonnes - almost 8 million tonnes.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"It’s deeply concerning that after years of self-congratulation for setting ambitious targets, Scotland has now missed the first three in a row. There is no doubt that the Scottish Government could have been taking bolder action for years now to cut energy waste in the home, tackle congestion and help shift toward greener transport, or any number of other steps to cut our emissions.

"Ministers have been telling us that their current policies would be enough to meet the targets, and today we’re being told the same thing yet again. I welcome the additional steps which have been announced today, and we’ll look closely to ensure that the implementation is effective. However it’s notable that all the positive ideas seem to be coming from the environmental NGOs and the opposition parties, with Government now playing catch-up.

"The tough reality is that the first three annual targets were the easy ones – and these are the ones the Government has missed. The next annual target is the first which demands a really big cut of over 5 million tonnes, and there is little sign that the Government understands the scale of the challenge that lies ahead."


Climate Change targets