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Meeting the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 interim target: progress report

This is a report required under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. It provides detail on progress towards meeting the interim target as outlined in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.


Part 2 - Progress towards the 2020 Target

Scotland is on track to meet its target of 42% emissions reductions by 2020.

To assess the progress in reducing Net Scottish Emissions Accounts over the period 2010-2020, the trajectory which meets the 42% reduction target in 2020 and 80% reduction target in 2050 must be calculated.

This can be considered in terms of the percentage reductions from the 1990 Baseline which have been achieved for the NSEAs in each of the years from 2010 to 2013.

The latest published Scotland greenhouse gas inventory (currently 1990-2013 [1] ) represents the best available data at the time and these supersede any previous data, which should be disregarded.

Based on the latest data (the 1990-2013 greenhouse gas inventory for Scotland):

  • The percentage reduction from the 1990 Baseline to the 2010 NSEA was 25.1%. This exceeds the 23.6% reduction required on the trajectory to meet the 42% reduction target in 2020 and 80% target in 2050
  • The percentage reduction from the 1990 Baseline to the 2011 NSEA was 28.4%. This exceeds the 23.9% reduction required on the trajectory to meet the 42% reduction target in 2020 and 80% target in 2050
  • The percentage reduction from the 1990 Baseline to the 2012 NSEA was 28.5%. This exceeds the 24.2% reduction required on the trajectory to meet the 42% reduction target in 2020 and 80% target in 2050
  • The percentage reduction from the 1990 Baseline to the 2013 NSEA was 38.4%. This exceeds the 31.7% reduction required on the trajectory to meet the 42% reduction target in 2020 and 80% target in 2050

The percentage reduction from the Baseline to meet the NSEA has therefore exceeded that intended by the 42% reduction trajectory in each of the years from 2010 to 2013.

This confirms that Scotland is on track to meet the 42% reduction target as the percentages reductions have been greater than initially required to meet the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 targets at the time at which they were set. This means that a further reduction in emissions of 6% is required over the remaining 7 years to achieve this target.

Comparison of progress towards the Interim Target and Fixed Annual Targets

The fixed annual targets are now inconsistent with the trajectory required to meet the 42% reduction target in 2020 and 80% reduction target in 2050.

The fixed annual targets were set on the basis of the 1990-2008 inventory and were based on a trajectory to meet a 42% reduction target in 2020 from the 1990 baseline. This trajectory remains unchanged in percentage terms. However, there have been upwards revisions to the Baseline which this trajectory is based on; the Baseline is now 10.6 Mt CO 2e (15.1%) higher than originally estimated.

Chart 1 shows the effect of the upwards revisions to the Baseline on the 42% reduction trajectory for each of the years from 2010 to 2013, and how this compares with the NSEAs and Fixed Annual Targets in each of these years.

Chart 1. NSEAs for the years 2010 to 2013, Fixed Annual Targets and Trajectory towards meeting 42% reduction target by 2020. All Values in Mt CO 2e

Chart 1. NSEAs for the years 2010 to 2013, Fixed Annual Targets and Trajectory towards meeting 42% reduction target by 2020

Chart 1 shows that the value of the NSEA in each year from 2010 to 2013 (solid line with squares) is lower for each of the years than the trajectory required to meet the interim target in 2020 (dashed line). This means that the percentage reductions achieved for the NSEA in each of these years has been greater than initially required to meet the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 targets at the time at which they were set, and thus the percentage reductions along the trajectory to meet the 42% and 80% reduction targets.

This is shown in Table 2, which demonstrates that the percentage reductions from the Baseline to achieve the NSEA (based on the current Greenhouse Gas Inventory) have been greater than that initially required to meet the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 targets at the time they were set.

Table 2. Percentage reductions required from the Baseline to meet the fixed annual targets and the 42% and 80% reduction trajectory in each year from 2010 to 2013, and the percentage reductions achieved for the NSEA in each of the years
Baseline Period 2010 2011 2012 2013 2020 Target 2050 Target
Percentage reduction from Baseline required to meet 42% reduction target in 2020   -23.6% -23.9% -24.2% -31.7% -42.0% -80.0%
Percentage reduction to the Fixed Annual Targets when they were originally set   -23.6% -23.9% -24.2% -31.7% -42.0% -80.0%
Value of NSEA (tonnes CO 2e) (1990-2013 inventory) 80,786,164 60,493,603 57,809,448 57,793,491 49,724,807 46,855,975 16,157,233
Percentage reduction from Baseline to meet NSEA (1990-2013 inventory)   -25.1% -28.4% -28.5% -38.4%  
Has percentage reduction achieved in NSEA exceeded that on trajectory to meet 42% reduction target in 2020 and 80% reduction target in 2050? Yes Yes Yes Yes

Table 2 shows that the percentage reduction from the Baseline to meet the NSEA has exceeded that intended by the 42% reduction trajectory in each of the years from 2010 to 2013.

This confirms that Scotland is on track to meet the 42% reduction target as the percentages reductions have been greater than initially required to meet the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 targets at the time at which they were set.

For context, Chart 2 shows the values of the NSEA in each year from 2010 to 2013 relative to the 42% reduction target in 2020. There is only a 5.8% reduction required to meet the 42% target in 2020 from the 2013 NSEA, or the equivalent of a 0.85% reduction required in each successive year from 2013 to 2020. In comparison, the average year-on-year reduction in emissions in successive years from the Baseline to the 2013 NSEA has been 2.1%.

Chart 2. NSEA in each year from 2010 to 2013 and trajectory towards 42% reduction target. Values in MtCO 2e

Chart 2. NSEA in each year from 2010 to 2013 and trajectory towards 42% reduction target

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