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Tackling climate change

Scottish Government releases Draft Climate Change Plan 

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Detailed proposals to achieve a 66% reduction in Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions have been published by Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham. 

Ms Cunningham has said the Scottish Government’s draft Climate Change Plan demonstrates “a new level of ambition” in its work to build a prosperous low carbon economy and a fairer, healthier Scotland.

Ms Cunningham said that Scotland has already exceeded its 2020 climate change target by achieving a 42% reduction in emissions six years early. The draft Climate Change Plan raises ambitions higher still by setting out how Scotland can reduce emissions by 66% by 2032.

The proposals could lead to wide-ranging changes in transport, logistics, buildings, heating, power, agriculture and land management. The draft plan sets out that by 2032:

• Scotland will have a fully decarbonised electricity sector able to remove CO2 from the atmosphere
• 80% of domestic heat will be provided by low carbon heat technologies 
• The proportion of ultra-low emission new cars and vans registered in Scotland annually will reach at least 40% 
• 250,000 hectares of degraded peatlands will be restored (against 1990 levels)
• We will have increased our annual woodland creation target to create at least 15,000 hectares per year.

Ms Cunningham said:

“Our proposals for further deep cuts in emissions represent a new level of ambition which will help maintain Scotland’s reputation as a climate leader within the international community.

“But it will be the judgement of our children, grandchildren and, indeed, future generations which matters most.

“In the years ahead, I want our young people to be able to look back and take pride in what we have achieved.

“The transition to a low carbon economy offers important opportunities for Scotland – thanks to our highly skilled workforce, the strength of our research institutions and, of course, our natural resources.

“The Scottish Government’s ambitions are clear, but we have now reached a point in our journey where future progress will require the support of individuals, organisations and businesses across the country.

“The publication of our draft Climate Change Plan provides an important opportunity for debate at Holyrood about the policies which should be implemented and the proposals which should be considered.

“That debate will help ensure the final version of the Climate Change Plan provides us with a blueprint for a fairer, greener, more prosperous nation.”

The SFHA responded to the plan by calling on the Scottish Government to invest in home energy efficiency to address climate change.

David Stewart, SFHA Policy Lead, said:

“Investing in home energy efficiency is a cost effective way to reduce carbon emissions while also cutting fuel poverty and creating jobs. We therefore call on the government to put home energy efficiency at the centre of its Climate Change Plan by setting energy efficiency standards for all homes and by providing funding and support for increased investment in home energy efficiency.”