New climate targets? Ministers are going to have to transform their policies

Responding to confirmation that Scotland has met its Greenhouse Gas Emissions target for 2014, the first such target met in five years, Mark Ruskell MSP, Climate Change spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife, highlighted the lack of action from Government to deliver the housing and transport choices that the public want.

Figures published today show:

-Between 1990 and 2014, the two main contributors to emissions reduction were a fall in energy supply emissions (such as power stations) and a fall in waste management emissions (such as landfill).

-Transport emissions in 2014 were 12.9 megatonnes of CO2 equivalents, barely changed from 13.1 in 1990.

-Car vehicle kilometres travelled have increased to pre-recession levels.

-International aviation emissions have more than doubled between 1990 and 2014. 

-Between 2013 and 2014 there was a small reduction in the size of the forestry 'carbon sink', reducing Scotland's ability to capture emissions.

Mark Ruskell MSP said:

"The real test of action on climate change isn’t how figures get fudged from year to year; it’s whether people across Scotland have real choices to live in warm efficient homes or a transport system fit for the 21st century. That requires funding and action from the Scottish Government.

"Today's figures show we've moved in the right direction with the closure of incredibly polluting coal power stations and the shift away from using landfill and instead reducing and recycling waste. But transport remains the Scottish Government's weak spot, with road traffic back to where it was in 2007 and the hugely polluting aviation sector doubling its impact.

"We need a sign from Government that they see the opportunity to provide the public with the choices they want - the choice of public transport, walking and cycling and the choice of a warm, efficient house. We know that funding for fuel poverty was cut in the last budget and we know that Ministers' plans to cut Air Passenger Duty would increase emissions by 60,000 tonnes a year.

"If we're to stretch our climate targets further, Ministers are going to have to transform their policies and budgets, and the Scottish Greens stand ready to help them make those changes."


Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2014 (Scottish Government)