Scottish emissions in 2008 fell by 3.7% compared to 2007, according to figures released today [1].

The greenhouse gas pollution data for Scotland in 2008 show a more rapid rate of reduction than in any other part of the UK.

Emissions fell in business, agriculture and even transport. But the public sector failed to lead by example, showing a 7% rise, and emissions also rose in the residential sector.

Commenting on the figures, Duncan McLaren, Chief Executive, Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“These cuts were not achieved painlessly. The figures clearly reflect the descent into recession which began in the second half of 2008 [2]. But there is much more that can be done to cut emissions with social or economic benefits rather than more pain.

“Scotland now has the chance to lock-in the savings from recession by focusing our efforts on low carbon growth. The opportunity is substantial, especially as the reductions to be expected from the effects of recession in 2009 are even greater [3].

“Clearly if overall emissions are to continue to decline to meet our targets, local authorities and the rest of the public sector must improve their performance, and lead by example, as well as delivering support so that households can cut emissions too.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719 

Notes to editors

1. Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2008 www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/09/06092729/0

2. There were greater reductions in the sectors affected by recession, probably resulting both from reduced activity and efforts to cut costs by saving energy.

3. 2009 provisional UK figures – Department of Energy and Climate Change suggest almost a 9% decline in 2009 before accounting for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme: ow.ly/2ApyT

Friends of the Earth Scotland is the country’s leading independent environmental campaigning organisation, and is the only organisation in Scotland that is working for environmental justice, campaigning for the planet and its people. www.foe-scotland.org.uk