Scotland Climate Change Comment

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Commenting on the latest UK greenhouse gas emissions statistics, Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod said “Although the final Scottish figures for 2014 won’t be published until June, I welcome these UK-wide statistics which give a very broad indication that greenhouse gas emissions continue to head in the right direction.

“Scotland consistently outperforms the UK in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, with our latest data showing we achieved a 38 per cent reduction since 1990 – that’s three quarters of the way towards achieving our world-leading target of a 42 per cent cut by 2020.

“2014 was the warmest year on record in Scotland and the UK, which is further evidence of our changing climate – and I am struck by the fact that around half of the UK’s emission reduction in the last year may have been due to people turning down their heating as a result of the milder weather. It underlines that small individual actions, if repeated on a large scale, can have a big impact in tackling climate change. In order to support these actions, the Scottish Government has designated home energy efficiency as a National Infrastructure Priority.

“Of course, these UK statistics pre-date the decisions taken by the UK Government in 2015 to slash renewable support, announce the early closure of the Renewables Obligation for large-scale onshore wind and solar PV projects, and cut support for small scale renewable projects through the Feed in Tariffs. We need the UK to assist Scotland’s drive to develop renewables and Carbon Capture and Storage, not stymie it as they have done recently.”