Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target year: information and analysis

Information and analysis paper to support discussion of the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill.


Strong progress has been made in recent years, reducing Scottish emissions by 49% from the 1990 baseline. In the EU-15, only Sweden and Finland have done better. This has been achieved while both growing the economy and improving the wellbeing of people in Scotland and the Government is determined to continue this ambitious, balanced approach.

The Bill sets a target of 90% emissions reduction by 2050 based solely on domestic activity. The UK Committee on Climate Change describe this as a “stretch target” that “is at the limit of the pathways currently identified to reduce Scottish emissions”. Combined with highly ambitious interim and annual targets, which apply to all sectors of the economy, the Bill as introduced would secure for Scotland the most ambitious and stringent climate legislation of any country in the world.

The moral, scientific and economic case for achieving net-zero emissions is clear and the Bill requires Ministers to regularly seek advice on the earliest achievable date for that target. The advice will be publically available. As soon as a target date can be credibly and responsibly put in legislation, that will be done.


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