Scotland is the home of the world’s first floating wind farm. Image: Equinor (Statoil)
Scottish government has published a draft Climate Change Bill that will immediately set a target of a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and guide to the government’s aim of making Scotland one of the first countries to achieve a 100% reduction (net-zero) as soon as possible.
Scotland’s existing targets are for a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050. The new interim targets will be 56% by 2020, 66% by 2030, and 78% by 2040.
The net-zero target date has not been outlined in the new bill, but Scottish ministers will be legally required to keep the target date under review by seeking expert advice on the issue every five years. The target date will become legally-binding, subject to the consent of the Scottish Parliament, as soon as there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate the date is credible and achievable, Scottish government said.
The target of a 90% emissions reduction by 2050 is what the UK Committee on Climate Change (UK CCC) deemed as currently “at the limit of feasibility.”
As well as increasing long-term ambition, the new bill also includes stretching annual targets for every year between now and 2050. This means action will need to increase immediately, across every sector of the Scottish economy, according to the government.
Scotland’s Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Our 90% target will be tougher even than the 100% goal set by a handful of other countries, because our legislation will set more demanding, legally-binding, annual targets covering every sector of our economy. By 2030, we will cut emissions by two-thirds and, unlike other nations, we will not use carbon offsetting, where other countries are paid to cut emissions for us, to achieve our goal.”
Responding to the Scottish Government’s publication of its Climate Change Bill, Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said that renewable energy will play a crucial part in achieving the emissions reduction targets.
“[T]he recent falls in cost for offshore and onshore wind in Scotland and the UK show what is possible with the right long-term policies,” Claire Mack said.
However, Scottish Renewables pointed out that, although the new bill shows Scotland’s ambition, Ministers and Parliament should set a date for delivering net-zero emissions.
Source: Test from Offshore Wind News