Scotland has met its annual climate change target for the third year running.

This morning the Scottish Government announced that Scotland has met its annual climate change target for the third year running.  By the end of 2016, Scotland had reduced its climate emissions by 45% compared to our 1990 baseline levels, well ahead of the 42% by 2020 target.

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“These statistics are hugely encouraging and show we have almost halved the greenhouse gases emitted in Scotland – underlining our role as an international leader in the fight against climate change.

We all have a role to play in that fight and I want to thank the households, communities and businesses who are working hard every day to reduce their own emissions.

But we must go further and faster if we are to meet our responsibilities to our children, grandchildren, and future generations.

Our ambitious Climate Change Bill will ensure we do exactly that – by setting a new 90% reduction target for 2050 and paving the way towards achieving net-zero emissions as soon as possible.”

Responding to the news that Scotland has met its statutory annual climate change target for the third year running Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) said:

“It’s great news that Scotland has hit the annual target and reduced its climate emissions by 45 per cent compared to the 1990 baseline and is well ahead of the 42 per cent 2020 target. Everyone who has played their part in achieving this reduction should be proud.

Back in 2009, when Scotland’s first Climate Act was passed, there was no clear path to meeting the 42 per cent emissions reduction target and many were sceptical it could be achieved. Today’s results show that setting stretching targets works by driving innovation and strong policy delivery.  This success, along with support from the public, leading scientists and farming groups, should give the Scottish Government the confidence to aim high once again and set a net zero emissions target, by 2050 at the latest, in the new Climate Change Bill.

2016 reflects the first full year since the closure of Longannet power station, showing the big impact you can have by phasing out dirty coal and switching to clean renewables.

Scotland’s system of annual targets are an important opportunity for the Scottish people and the Scottish Parliament to discuss what more we can do to tackle climate change. We need ideas and greater action from everyone if we are going to protect people and nature in every continent and country, from the effects of climate change. With the right ideas and action we can reap the rewards of building a zero emissions economy.”