Low carbon future is a reality


Plans for Scotland to retain its leading role in cutting emissions and to continue to lead global efforts to tackle climate change have been set out today.

The Scottish Government is investing over £1.14 billion over the next three years on measures to address climate change and today published the second draft Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP2).

The report details climate change strategies, which build on Scotland’s current low carbon action plan, to meet its world leading and ambitious climate change targets up to 2027. 

By 2010 we were more than halfway to meeting the 2020 target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent. The RPP2 shows how Scotland can and will step up its effort from the first RPP to deliver even greater emissions reductions than the independent expert Committee on Climate Change said we could, while stressing that higher ambition and more urgent action is needed across the EU and UK to tackle what is a global climate challenge.

Plans include:

  • A new decarbonisation target to cut carbon emissions from electricity generation by more than four-fifths by 2030
  • Commitment to deliver the equivalent of at least 100 per cent of gross electricity consumption from renewables by 2020
  • A National Retrofit Programme to transform older and colder homes into energy efficient homes
  • A £50 million Warm Homes Fund providing grants and loans for renewable energy measures to heat homes
  • A new domestic Heat Strategy including publication of a Draft Outline Heat Vision which sets our ambition for a largely decarbonised heat sector by 2030
  • Measures to reduce the impact of transport through active travel, low carbon vehicles and congestion reduction with over £200 million investment on top of our on-going investment in public transport
  • Ambitious proposals to maximise emissions benefits of restoring degraded peatland
  • Increasing woodland creation rates to 10,000 hectares per year
  • Phased introduction of bans on materials that may be landfilled, including a ban on biodegradable waste to landfill be the end of 2020, the first of its kind in the UK

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse said:

“Scotland is at the top of the European league table for emissions reductions and is recognised for leading the way across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world in tackling climate change. Our concerted action to tackle greenhouse gas emissions has seen Scotland achieve greater reductions in emissions than not only the UK, but other nations recognised for their high ambition, such as Germany and Denmark.

“The aim of the RPP2 is to demonstrate how Scotland can achieve our longer term targets, to ensure we are continuing our drive to stay at the forefront of climate action in the years to come and setting out how we can make the transition to a low carbon, sustainable Scotland. 

“Our commitment to tackling climate change and maintaining our position as a global leader is clear and underlined by the actions we have set out today. We are taking strong action on renewables, zero waste, peatlands and tackling fuel poverty with ambitious new plans to decarbonise production of electricity and heat.

“We are already more than halfway to meeting our 2020 target of 42 per cent, and remain on trajectory to achieve it.  But there is no room for complacency – that is why we are determined to do even more and must do so given the threat climate change places on our wildlife, our economy and our society.

“It would have been very easy for this Parliament to have set targets that lacked ambition, and were straightforward to meet or indeed not to have set targets at all. Instead, we have set extremely challenging targets and we know robust and continued action is required to meet them. Scotland has shown a can do attitude and the ambition needed to play our part in averting more severe climate change. That is something of which the people of Scotland can be proud. 

“Climate change is already proving to be damaging and we must act now to limit future damage. It is important that everyone realises that climate change is not a problem for other people or another time. As recent flooding incidents and the impact of severe weather on agricultural productivity have shown, climate change is affecting many people in Scotland now. 

“A low carbon Scotland will be a better Scotland and there is no doubt that our action and the benefits – both economic and environmental – will be felt right across Scottish society, and will also make a key contribution to the global effort.”

The draft report will now be considered in Parliament for a 60-day period, and a final report will be published in the summer.