Why is this Purpose target important?
The quality of Scotland's environment and natural heritage is a key asset and source of competitive advantage. Consequently, protecting and enhancing Scotland's biodiversity and landscape for future generations is central to both our current and future competitiveness. A critical element of this is climate change, not just because it poses a particular threat to Scotland, but also because there is a global imperative to address the issue. By reducing our emissions Scotland will make a valuable contribution to addressing climate change.
What will influence this Purpose target?
Sustainability is not simply a matter of improving the natural environment and the sustainable economic use of our natural assets. It involves a sustainable approach to all economic development, including better ways of promoting - and taking advantage of - our potential in areas such as renewable energy. We also need to encourage and adopt less resource-intensive, lower carbon approaches when developing and implementing policy.
What is the Government's role?
The Government can encourage sustainability in Scotland in a number of ways, including:
- Supportive business environment: creating the best possible environment for competitive businesses, entrepreneurship and innovation to maximise the opportunities offered by Scotland moving towards a low-carbon economy. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 provides a statutory, long term framework to support progress towards a low-carbon economy.
- Infrastructure development and place: providing sustainable, integrated and cost-effective public transport alternatives to the car as well as a planning and development regime which is joined up and geared towards achieving sustainable places and sustainable economic growth.
- Equity: protecting and enhancing Scotland's natural assets to support our long-term competitiveness.
How are we performing?
In 2009, total Scottish greenhouse gas emissions, including international aviation and shipping and adjusted to take account of trading in the EU Emissions Trading System, were 52.0 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, 27.6% lower than in the 1990 base year (1995 for the F-gases, i.e. hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride). Between 2008 and 2009 such emissions reduced by 3.8% (2.0 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent).
View data on Sustainability
(1): Base year is 1990 for CO 2, CH 4 and N 20 and 1995 for the F-gases
Source: AEA Energy and Environment
This evaluation is based on the percentage change in the tonnage of emissions. If the change is within +/- 1% of last year's figure this suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease in the tonnage of 1% or more suggests that the position is improving; whereas an increase in the tonnage of 1% or more suggests the position is worsening.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
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