Environmental campaigners have said the the UK Committee on Climate Change has delivered a ‘scathing judgement’ of the Scottish Government’s climate efforts in their latest progress report published today (7/12/22)

The Committee on Climate Change report highlights:

  • Continued lack of a clear delivery plan and quantification of how policies add up to meeting emissions reduction targets, despite Committee requests for this information;
  • Seven of the last 11 years of emissions reduction targets have been missed, and the 2020 target was only met due to restrictions responding to the covid-19 pandemic;
  • Scotland’s consumption emissions continue to grow, and are 50% higher than domestic production emissions, meaning we are offshoring more of our emissions;
  • The welcome goal of reducing car-kilometres by 20% on 2019 levels by 2030 does not have an adequate strategy with sufficient levers to deliver;
  • The Scottish Government has committed to grow aviation demand despite this running counter to climate ambitions and despite having powers, such as airport expansion control and Air Departure Tax, to curb aviation growth;
  • Policies are not sufficient to deliver the aim of 70% reduction in emissions from buildings by 2030, in particular in making the transition to low-carbon heat and energy efficiency in homes;
    Emissions from electricity supply have fallen significantly, but more detail is needed on how full decarbonise the system while increasing generation capacity will be achieved;
  • The moratorium on incineration and energy from waste is a welcome step, but Scotland is significantly off track with recycling rates;
  • The Scottish Government has chosen heavy reliance on engineered removals (such as carbon capture and storage) to meet the 2030 target despite there being no projects in place, and detailed delivery plans have not been set out.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s head of campaigns Mary Church said:

“The Climate Change Committee’s report is a scathing judgement on Scottish Government progress towards meeting our legally binding targets. With the impacts of climate breakdown wreaking havoc the world over at only 1°C warming this is literally a matter of life or death. The Scottish Government must urgently scale up its plans to cut climate pollution within the next decade.

“Fossil fuels are the key driver of the climate crisis so we urgently need to phase out oil and gas this decade through a just transition to a renewable-powered economy with decent green jobs and affordable energy for all.

“The Scottish Government must abandon the dangerous fantasy that techno-fixes like carbon capture and storage are going to save the day and start focusing on the real solutions to the climate crisis. That means investing in public transport and improving our public spaces to take cars off the road, rolling out mass energy efficiency schemes and renewable heat, all of which will have the added benefit of tackling the cost of living crisis as well as cutting emissions.

“As we move towards a more circular economy, the Scottish Government must also urgently address rising offshored emissions from the products we consume by setting robust consumption targets in law.”


Climate Change Committee’s 2022 Progress Report to the Scottish Parliament is available from the Climate Change Committee https://www.theccc.org.uk/2022/12/07/scotlands-climate-targets-are-in-danger-of-becoming-meaningless/

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.