Committee calls for challenging climate-change targets


More robust and realistic annual climate-change targets are required to ensure that Scotland will contribute to the reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions over the next decade, according to a report published today by the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee.

Following its Stage 1 scrutiny of the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill, the committee has called on the Scottish Government to set challenging targets for the annual reduction in emission levels between 2010 and 2019 to allow “strong” and “early” action to tackle climate change in Scotland.

The committee report also calls on the Scottish Government to produce a comprehensive plan setting out in practical terms how it intends to meet the reductions in greenhouse gases set out in the Bill from an investment and policy point of view.

While the committee agrees with the general principles of the Bill, it calls for clarity on these and other issues to ensure that the climate-change legislation is as robust and effective as possible.

Committee Convener Patrick Harvie said: “The committee welcomes the Bill, but significant improvements are required if it is to be the world-leading climate-change legislation that the Scottish Government wants it to be.

"The Scottish Government has still not announced the level of its proposed new 2020 interim target for emissions reduction and this decision is urgently needed in order to make the annual targets meaningful. These targets must be based on the most recent scientific evidence and the importance of early action was stressed by many of those experts who gave evidence to the committee.

"The Scottish Government must show that it means business by hitting the ground running, not only setting challenging targets, but developing and pursuing policies in areas such as transport, land use, energy generation and energy efficiency which will help it meet them.

"We all want to see this hugely important Bill succeed. However, it is absolutely vital that the Scottish Government addresses these and other key recommendations in the committee’s report if the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill is to create a framework which will deliver on the objective of reducing Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions and succeed in contributing to the global efforts to combat the dangers of climate change.”

The committee’s report also includes calls for:

  • Faster analysis of emissions data to allow for successful monitoring of progress on climate change targets
  • Increased levels of scrutiny and substantive debate on Ministerial reports and statements to the Parliament on meeting climate-change targets
  • More information on whether the UK Committee on Climate Change has sufficient resources to provide scientific advice to Scottish Government on climate change
  • Limits on the purchasing of international emission credits
  • Separate provisions in the Bill covering the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions from international aviation and shipping
  • The development of a public-engagement strategy on climate change
  • The inclusion in the Bill of a general duty on public bodies to take account of climate change in their activities
  • Clarification of the scientific and policy advice used by the Scottish Government to determine emissions reduction targets.

Background information

The Scottish Government introduced the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament in December 2008.


This website is using cookies.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.