Tue 16 Jun, 2020

This is what happens when politicians congratulate themselves over targets but won’t commit to serious action to meet them Mark Ruskell

Scottish Government has missed its climate emissions target for the second year in in a row, it has emerged.

Figures on greenhouse gas emissions for 2018 show that Scotland’s climate emissions increased and the target was missed by a significant margin, largely because of an increase in emissions from the power sector, where fossil fuel use increased by half. Emissions from homes increased by 3.4 per cent and transport remains the largest source of emissions.

In total, Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 1.5% between 2017 and 1018. They were 50% below the baseline, a long way short of the 54% target.

Commenting, Scottish Green environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “This is what happens when politicians congratulate themselves over targets but won’t commit to serious action to meet them. This is a climate emergency, and instead of cutting emissions Scotland continues to hurtle towards climate breakdown.

“The sharp rise in energy is partly due to the closure of Hunterston nuclear power station being replaced by fossil fuels. This shows why we can’t rely on expensive and unreliable nuclear power and a new generation of gas power stations, instead we need a step change in investment in Scotland’s renewable energy generation, storage and grid infrastructure to meet our targets and create green jobs.

“Transport remains the biggest contributor to Scotland’s poor record. It’s now indisputable that the Scottish Government’s agenda of massive road investment at the expense of public transport, cycling and walking has failed. The Scottish Greens are calling for a transformative shift in spending priorities on transport, we can’t afford to lock-in high carbon transport choices for generations to come. The Covid crisis has encouraged people to take up walking and cycling. That opportunity to invest in that infrastructure is now, not after our roads become choked with traffic again.” 

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