In the Climate Change Plan Update published in December, the Scottish Government committed to a 20% reduction in car kms travelled by 2030. This will be measured on  a 2019 baseline, so it isn’t impacted by the temporary drop in traffic due to Covid-19.

As transport is Scotland’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, with cars making up around 40% of all transport emissions, achieving this hugely ambitious target would go a long way to achieving climate targets across the board.

A huge modal shift from cars to public transport and active travel would also provide a variety of other benefits, from reducing air pollution, increasing physical activity, improving social connectedness and boosting high streets and local economies.

Crucially, the target covers cars of all types. Moving to electric vehicles will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but EVs still cause air pollution, traffic accidents, congestion, transport poverty, and are a preserve of well-off drivers for the foreseeable future. We need to reduce journeys from all cars, no matter the fuel they run on.

The Scottish Government’s routemap to achieving the target is currently out for consultation, open from 13th January to 6th April.

Below is a guide to the consultation from Friends of the Earth Scotland.