Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 sets out targets to reduce Scotland's emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 42% by 2020, and 80% by 2050. These targets include Scotland's share of emissions from international aviation and shipping.

Progress towards these targets is measured against 1990 levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide and 1995 levels of hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride.

We have introduced a new Climate Change Bill that makes our targets even tougher.  The Bill is currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament

Annual targets

To help ensure delivery of the 2020 and 2050 targets, the Scottish Parliament sets annual targets in secondary legislation at least 12 years in advance.

These targets are informed by advice received from the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

We have set out our policies and proposals for meeting targets up to 2032 in the third Climate Change Plan. This was published in February 2018.

We publish an annual target report that sets out whether each annual emissions reduction target has been met. The latest report for the 2016 target year was published in October 2018.

2010 to 2022 targets

Annual targets for the years from 2010 to 2022 targets are set out in The Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2010.

They were informed by the CCC report Scotland's path to a low-carbon economy.

2023 to 2027 targets

Annual targets for the years from 2023 to 2027 are set out in The Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2011.

They were informed by the following letters from the CCC:

2028 to 2032 targets

Annual targets for the years from 2028 to 2032 are set out in The Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2016.

They were informed by the CCC report: Scottish emissions targets 2028-2032 – The high ambition pathway towards a low-carbon economy.

The advice in this report was updated by the letter: CCC response to request for updated advice on Scottish emissions targets.

Budget proposals

For each year's Budget we publish an accompanying high-level carbon assessment which estimates how government spending plans will impact on emissions. View carbon assessments within the greenhouse gas estimation statistics.

We also publish indications of how proposed budgets will support emissions reductions. View climate change mitigation funding in draft budgets from 2013 to the present.