The Scottish Government has introduced the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill. The new Bill will immediately set a target of a 90% reduction by 2050 but the draft Bill sets out that the Scottish Government intends to go further still and achieve a 100% reduction in emissions, known as net-zero, as soon as possible.
Ministers will be legally required to keep the net-zero 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.
As well as increasing long term ambition, the new Bill also includes the most ambitious interim targets in the world, as well as 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. It will also require action by individuals, communities and businesses – as well as government.
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 and are set out on a dedicated website.