10 ways we’re protecting Scotland’s environment and tackling climate change

Scotland is a world leader on tackling climate change – and we’re taking important steps to protect our natural environment for generations to come.
Here are just ten ways we’re creating a greener, more sustainable Scotland.
1.  We continue to meet our world-leading climate change targets. We remain well on track to achieve a 42 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Scotland is outperforming the UK as a whole and most western European nations. Only Sweden and Finland have achieved greater cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is one of the defining issues of our age and we must go further. That’s why we’re proposing a more ambitious target – a reduction of at least 90 per cent by 2050.
2.  We have blocked underground coal gasification and a moratorium means fracking cannot take place in Scotland. We’re pursuing a cautious, evidence-led approach to fracking and will ensure the people of Scotland have their say on the issue in a national consultation.
3.  Scotland has exceeded its target to produce 50 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2015 – helping to fight climate change and create jobs too. In 2015 there were 58,500 people employed in the low carbon and renewables sector – up by a third on 2014. We’ve published a draft Energy Plan for Scotland, setting out how we’ll ensure 50 per cent of the energy required for our heat, transport and electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030. 
4. With the support of the SNP Scottish Government, the low carbon and renewables sector in Scotland supported 58,500 jobs in 2015 – up by a third since 2014.
5.  Scotland’s household recycling rate was 44.2 per cent in 2015 – up from around 32 per cent for municipal waste in 2007.
6.  Carrier bag use has been reduced by 80 per cent – the equivalent of 650 million bags – in the first year of the carrier bag charge.
7. The clean, green status of our valuable food and drink sector has been protected by opting out of the cultivation of genetically modified crops in Scotland. And we’ll fight any attempt to end this ban as a result of Tory Brexit plans.
8.  Scotland is showing international leadership on moving to a more circular economy, where we keep valuable resources in circulation for as long as possible. The Scottish Government has won the Award for Circular Economy Governments, Cities and Regions at the World Economic Forum summit at Davos.
9.  We’ve helped make our communities safer from flooding with investment in flood defences and new measures in the Flooding Act. And we’ve agreed a new 10 year funding strategy for flood protection, consisting of £42 million a year, aiming to protect 10,000 families across Scotland.
10.  We are investing in the restoration of peatlands – which are natural carbon storage facilities – and have increased funding from £2 million this year to £10 million in 2017-18.