Scotland missed 2019 target despite fall in greenhouse gases

It is the second time that the Scottish Government’s legally set emissions targets have not been met.

Scotland missed 2019 target despite fall in greenhouse gases PA Wire
Emissions have not fallen in line with targets.

Scotland missed its legally-set climate change target in 2019, despite greenhouse gas emissions continuing to fall.

The latest statistics show a reduction of the greenhouse gas account of 51.5% in 2019 from the baseline period, despite Scottish Parliament legislation calling for a 55% reduction.

Under a different measurement, emissions were down by 47.8% since 1990. Emissions reduced by 2.3% from 2018 under this measurement.

It is the second time the Scottish Government’s climate change targets have been missed – last year, the 2018 figures also fell short of the reductions set by the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.

A report released on Tuesday showed emissions in 2019 were 2.3% lower than 2018, with the reduction mainly coming from the business, energy supply and domestic transport sectors.

There was negligible change in the international aviation, agriculture and shipping sectors.

Domestic transport was the largest sector contributing to climate change emissions, producing the equivalent of 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2e) in 2019.

Business and agriculture were the next-largest sources of emissions at 7.9 and 7.5 MtCO2e respectively.

In what was described as a “major revision” in the way greenhouse gases are accounted, the land use sector is now considered to be a net-source of emissions rather than a carbon sink.

The report said: “Previously this category has been shown to be a net-sink of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.

“The reason for this revision is the inclusion of the effect of historical drainage and rewetting of peatlands that previously were not included in the data.”

Between 2018 and 2019, overall emissions from the UK were estimated to have fallen by 2.6%.