Scotland to abandon pledge to cut carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 | Greenhouse gas emissions

The Scottish Government is set to abandon its “world-leading” target to cut carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 after repeatedly failing to meet legally binding targets.

Scottish Net Zero Secretary Mairi McCarran is expected to announce that Scotland will follow the lead of the English and Welsh governments and introduce a five-year “carbon budget”, significantly reducing policy.

The Scottish Government came under heavy criticism from the UK Climate Change Committee last month. The report said the 2030 target was “no longer reliable” due to slow and insufficient progress on home heating, transport, agriculture and nature recovery.

Environmentalists are furious at the move, which comes after previous first ministers Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf have repeatedly insisted Scotland is a world leader in tackling climate change.

Oxfam Scotland director Jamie Livingstone said: “At a time when the world is becoming a dirtier and more dangerous place by the day, Scotland’s decision to rewrite the climate rulebook will be a major global embarrassment.” he said.

“It would also be a direct and damaging consequence of the Scottish Government’s own inaction on climate action.”

Greenpeace UK campaigner Ami McCarthy said: “Legislation to reduce Scotland’s climate ambitions would be like striking a match at a petrol station, having just completed the hottest 12 months in the history of the planet.” It may not all go up in flames right away, but this is clearly a dangerous step. ”

Mr Yousaf has previously attacked the UK government and Labor for watering down climate targets. In September 2023, he said it was “unacceptable” that the UK government was “rolling back on its climate change commitments”.

In a post on X, the first minister added: “Scotland will continue to demonstrate global leadership in the face of the climate crisis.”

The Scottish Government is currently run jointly by the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Greens, following an agreement brokered by Nicola Sturgeon almost three years ago. Tough action on climate change was built into the Butehouse Agreement she signed with Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvey.

Some climate change organizations have been told that Mr McCarran could announce revisions to the 65% reduction target for 2030 in a statement to the Scottish Parliament later on Thursday, and that he will issue new climate legislation. It is also expected that they will come up with a plan to hasten the passage of the bill.

Current climate change laws also set annual targets and require Scottish ministers to submit new plans to Holyrood by November. New legislation would be needed to repeal these existing goals.