Final climate change plan published to reduce emissions by 66% by 2032

A Climate Change Plan which sets out in detail how Ministers intend to meet the target of reducing emissions by 66% by 2032 has been published by the Scottish Government.

Scotland is already on track to meet the 2020 target to reduce emissions by 42% and the new Climate Change Plan sets out the Scottish Government’s decarbonisation plans for the period leading up to 2032:

  • By 2032 Scotland’s electricity sector, already largely decarbonised, will be important as a low carbon power source for heat and transport with 50% of all of Scotland’s energy needs to be delivered by renewables by 2030
  • By 2032 transport emissions will have reduced by 37%, the need to buy petrol and diesel cars or vans will have phased out and low emission zones introduced
  • By 2032 emissions in Scotland’s buildings will have reduced by 33%
  • By 2032 woodland will cover 21% of Scotland – up from 18%
  • 70% of all waste will be recycled by 2025.

Revealing the plan, climate change secretary Roseanna Cunningham said Scotland’s successful deployment of renewable energy schemes and the decarbonisation of the country’s electricity system will allow other areas of the economy to play their part in the fight against climate change.

Ms Cunningham said: “We should be proud of the fact that Scotland is already on track to meet its 2020 target to reduce carbon emissions by 42 per cent and has won international recognition for its leadership in this vital area.

“This new Climate Change Plan is designed to build on the successes we have achieved so far, by paving the way for further positive, transformational change in a wide range of areas.

“We have carefully considered the helpful and constructive feedback we received from stakeholders and the UK Committee on Climate Change to ensure that our final plan, which is designed to reduce emissions by 66% by 2032, is both ambitious and realistic.

“It also delivers a range of wider benefits for Scotland. For example, improving energy efficiency will help combat fuel poverty as well as reducing emissions.

“Record levels of investment in walking and cycling, as part of our Active Nation initiative, will make Scotland a healthier and safer country for everyone by cutting pollution.

“And our support for the switch to electric vehicles, and the charging infrastructure they require, will cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.”

“It is particularly fitting that our plan is published during the Year of Young People, as we will be relying on those young people to help us achieve our world leading climate ambitions.

“We fully recognise that this plan will be challenging to achieve and the journey ahead will be far from straightforward.

“But we have a duty to provide leadership on this this vital issue, while ensuring that Scotland seizes the valuable economic opportunities which the transition to a low carbon economy presents.

“Across the Scottish Government, we are working hard every day to do exactly that and in the coming months we will bring forward a new Climate Change Bill which will raise the bar higher still.”

Responding to the Scottish Government’s final Climate Change Plan, Scottish Renewables said it was “disappointed” to see a significant drop in ambition in decarbonising the heat sector.

Jenny Hogan, deputy chief executive at Scottish Renewables, said: “We welcome the overall ambition set out in the Plan and the reiteration of the target to deliver half of all Scotland’s energy from renewables by 2030.

“We are however disappointed to see a significant drop in ambition in decarbonising the heat sector, with the majority of effort pushed back to after 2025. The carbon targets for both the heat and transport sectors are lower than those recommended by the government’s independent advisors, the Committee on Climate Change.

“We need robust policies in place now to capitalise on Scotland’s world-leading renewable energy industry and to get a head start on cutting carbon in two of the toughest sectors to do so: heat and transport.”