Feb 11, 2023 | Climate emergency, Government

Scotland’s climate goals: ambition but little progress

The Scottish government is consulting on its Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan (closes 4 April) for Scotland’s renewables production to accelerate as North Sea basin resources decline, with economic benefits in terms of green jobs and increased renewables exports.

Key policy proposals  include:

  • substantially increasing renewable electricity generation capacity to meet nearly 50% of current demand by 2030
  • setting out final policy positions on fossil fuel energy, including consulting on a presumption against new exploration for North Sea oil and gas
  • accelerated decarbonisation of domestic industry, transport and heat in buildings
  • increasing access to affordable energy by urging the UK Government to take stronger, more targeted action for fair energy market reform
  • maximising household, business and community benefit from energy projects, including through shared ownership of renewables

However, climate campaigners have criticised the draft plan for containing existing commitments “that we already know are insufficient to meet our climate targets”.

Meanwhile, following the UK Climate Change Committee’s report last December, 28 organisations wrote to Mairi Gougeon to urge her to take decisive action immediately. The CCC’s report said that Scotland was very unlikely to meet its ambitious 2030 targets due to the lack of plans to get there. The government is failing on farming, building emissions, recycling, peatland restoration and on cutting car use.

But a bit of good news: Scotland’s air pollution levels remained under legal limits for the first time in 2022, helped by the introduction of a Low Emissions Zone in Glasgow.