The quality of Scotland's environment and natural heritage is a key asset and source of competitive advantage. Consequently, protecting and enhancing Scotland's biodiversity and landscape for future generations is central to both our current and future competitiveness. A critical element of this is climate change, not just because it poses a particular threat to Scotland, but also because there is a global imperative to address the issue.
Scotland has a number of targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions contained in legislation, within the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The Act creates a statutory framework for greenhouse gas emissions reductions in Scotland by setting an interim target of at least a 42% reduction for 2020, and at least an 80% reduction target for 2050. These reductions are based on a 1990 baseline (1995 for the F-Gases). By reducing our emissions Scotland is making a valuable contribution to addressing climate change.
Sustainability is not simply a matter of improving the natural environment and the sustainable economic use of our natural assets. It involves a sustainable approach to all economic development, including better ways of promoting - and taking advantage of - our potential in areas such as renewable energy. We also need to encourage and adopt less resource-intensive, lower carbon approaches when developing and implementing policy.
The Government can encourage sustainability in Scotland in a number of ways, including:
Supportive business environment: creating the best possible environment for competitive businesses, entrepreneurship and innovation to maximise the opportunities offered by Scotland moving towards a low-carbon economy. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 provides a statutory, long term framework to support progress towards a low-carbon economy
Infrastructure development and place: providing sustainable, integrated and cost-effective public transport alternatives to the car as well as a planning and development regime which is joined up and geared towards achieving sustainable places and sustainable economic growth.
Equity: protecting and enhancing Scotland's natural assets to support our long-term competitiveness
In 2015, total Scottish greenhouse gas emissions (including international aviation and shipping) and adjusted to take account of trading in the EU Emissions Trading System, were 45.504 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This figure is 41.0% lower than the Baseline Period.
Source: Scottish Government, based on data provided by Ricardo Energy and Environment / Aether
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.
* Please note: The baseline uses 1990 for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide and 1995 for F gases (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride).
This evaluation is based on a comparison of the percentage reductions in emissions achieved from the Baseline with the percentage reductions in emissions required in that year, on a trajectory to meet the 42% reduction target in 2020 and the 80% reduction target in 2050.
If the percentage reduction exceeds the reductions required for that year on the trajectory, it suggests that performance is improving. If the percentage reductions are less than the emissions reductions required for that year on the trajectory, this suggests that performance is worsening. If the percentage for that year remains below the trajectory, however emissions are increasing, it suggests that performance is maintaining.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
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