1.1.1 Scotland has some of the most ambitious statutory targets on emissions reductions to help tackle global climate change. These were initially implemented through the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 ('the 2009 Act'). However, in the 2016 – 2017 Programme for Government, the Scottish Government confirmed its intention to bring forward a new Climate Change Bill to further strengthen these targets. Following advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change in March 2017, proposals for a new Climate Change Bill were published for consultation in June 2017. An associated Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Environmental Report was prepared and published alongside the proposals.
1.1.2 The Bill, as introduced to Parliament, proposed to increase the 2050 emissions reductions target to 90% by 2050 (compared to 80% in the 2009 Act) on baseline levels. It also increased the target level for 2020 (42% to 56%), and introduced new targets for 2030 and 2040. Provisions about advice, plans and reports in relation to these targets were also included.
1.1.3 The Bill received Royal Assent on 31 October 2019 to become the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 ('the 2019 Act'). The final version of the Act increases the ambition of targets on emissions reductions to net zero (equivalent to 100% reduction from baseline levels) by 2045 alongside increases in the 2030 and 2040 interim targets. Further provisions are made on related emissions accounting, reporting and planning duties, and other minor and consequential modifications.
1.1.4 All provisions in the 2019 Act are in force from 23 March 2020, as designated by the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 (Commencement) Regulations 2020. Further information on the provisions of the Act is included in section 5.