Scotland aims for 80% emission cuts by 2050

The Scottish Government published its draft climate change Bill last Friday, proposing greenhouse gas emission reductions of 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels

The Bill sets an interim target of 50% by 2030. Aviation and shipping have been included within the scope of the Bill from the outset.

The Bill requires Scottish ministers, following advice from the Committee on Climate Change, to set annual emission reduction targets for each calendar year from 2010 to 2050 in secondary legislation.

These are to be set in batches, the first of which being 2010 to 2022. Thereafter, new targets will be set in batches of five year periods to set a trajectory to the 2050 target. These will coincide with the carbon budgets established under the UK Climate Change Act. From 2020 annual emission reduction targets will be at least 3%.

The targets cover six greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.

Scottish ministers will be required to report annually to the Scottish Parliament on Scotland’s emissions and on the progress being made towards the emission reduction targets. Ministers will also have to outline how they propose to meet the emissions reductions targets at least once during each budget period.

The Bill also sets out a range of duties, actions and pieces of secondary legislation to deliver these targets. This covers energy efficiency, waste reduction, packaging and recycling. It also outlines the role that the forestry sector can play in reducing emissions in areas such as renewable energy measures and woodland creation.

The Scottish Government will be publishing “shot, medium and long term policy options” to meet the targets next year, Scottish climate change minister Stewart Stevenson confirmed.