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Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting our Emissions Reduction Targets 2013-2027 - The Draft Second Report on Proposals and Policies

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Executive Summary

This report is a draft of the Scottish Government's second report on proposals and policies (RPP2) for meeting its climate change targets. Specifically, it sets out how Scotland can deliver its statutory annual targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for the period 2013-2027.

It is set in the context of Scotland's role in leading the way to a low carbon society. By 2010, Scotland's emissions, including international shipping and aviation, had fallen 24.3% from 1990, over half way to meeting the 42% 2020 target set in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

While meeting the strict targets we have set for ourselves remain a challenge, Scotland has been making good progress when compared with EU countries. Scotland's emissions have reduced more than any of the EU-15 since 1990 and our reductions have been greater than the average for the EU-27 Member States, which was 14.3%. On a comparable basis which is not adjusted for emissions trading, Scotland's emissions fell by 22.8%.

The report explains our further ambitions for a low carbon Scotland, in a lower carbon world economy, and why Scotland is so well placed to make this transition. We believe that the transition is an essential investment for the people of Scotland, our environment, and future generations and is an important contribution that Scotland can make to a global challenge.

The report describes the legislative context that we are operating within, the role of our independent advisor the Committee on Climate Change, the importance of EU climate change policy, the context of international climate change negotiations, a summary of how we estimate emission abatement and sequestration, and our approach to costs and benefits. It draws attention to our most important partners, and lays out the principles that are guiding our approach.

It outlines the major cross-sectoral areas that we need to focus on to achieve our ambitions: considering potential different futures that might come to pass; making the transition to a low carbon economy; getting our funding and financing mechanisms right; understanding and influencing behaviours; and the critical role of our spatial planning system.

The draft report is structured around a number of sectoral chapters that focus on areas with major emissions and or sequestration implications: energy supply with a focus on electricity generation; homes and communities; business, industry and the public sector; transport; waste and resource efficiency; and rural land use.

Each sectoral chapter highlights: our ambition for reducing the emissions intensity of the sector; a summary of where we are now; policies and proposals for delivering emissions abatement; supporting and enabling measures; costs and benefits; highlights of progress to date and a high-level summary of sectoral emissions abatement potential.

  • Energy emissions, largely from electricity generation, are addressed through our target to decarbonise electricity, which will be achieved through a combination of: energy efficiency measures, renewable energy, and carbon capture and storage.
  • Homes and communities emissions are addressed through fabric improvement and heating efficiency, building standards, the decarbonisation of heat, and information measures such as smart meters.
  • Business, industry and public sector emissions are addressed through energy and resource efficiency measures, the decarbonisation of electricity, and the decarbonisation of heat.
  • Transport emissions are addressed through four packages: decarbonising vehicles, road network efficiencies, sustainable communities including modal shift to walking, cycling and public transport, and business engagement around sustainable transport.
  • Waste and resource efficiency emissions are addressed through the reduction of landfill gas (Zero Waste Plan).
  • Rural land use emissions and sequestration are addressed through a combination of improved agricultural practice, woodland creation and management, and peatland restoration.

The measures in this report create costs and benefits for government, business and private households. We estimate the costs of implementing these measures to be on average £1.6billion per annum (or 1% of GDP) while the average benefits are estimated to amount to £1.2billion (in 2011 prices) per annum.

The influential Stern report on the economics of climate change estimated that the cost of a changed climate could be from 5% to 20% of global GDP (from declining agricultural production, heat-waves, droughts, flooding events, etc.) and that stabilising greenhouse gases to avoid a global temperature increase in excess of 2°C by 2050 would cost the global community roughly 2% of GDP by 2050.

The estimates in this report do not include transformational investments in the electricity generation sector. In addition there are some proposals for which cost estimates are not available at this stage. The benefits cited are solely calculated on the basis of potential fuel and energy savings and do not include additional benefits in terms of, for example, improved air quality or biodiversity conservation.

The final chapter outlines our plans for monitoring and delivery, led by the Scottish Government's Emission Reduction Programme Board. Annex A contains more detailed information on emissions sector by sector. Annex B gives information on the extent to which our annual targets are met. Further information can be found in the Technical Annex published alongside this report.