We’re addressing the climate emergency

We have a moral responsibility to tackle climate change and an economic responsibility to prepare Scotland for the new, low-carbon world.

Scotland was the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency, and our groundbreaking Climate Change Bill was hailed by the UN as “an inspiring example of the level of ambition we need globally to achieve the Paris Agreement“.

Scotland is a world leader on climate change, at the forefront of safeguarding our environment. Here’s how.

📈 World-leading targets

Scotland has a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, one of the toughest statutory targets in the world. In 2019 we announced that we will help establish a new office for the Committee on Climate Change in Scotland, bringing a team of experts to focus purely on advice and analysis for Scotland.

♻️ Deposit scheme for drinks containers

Scotland was the first part of the UK to announce that it is bringing in a deposit return scheme for drinks packaging.

We’re rolling out the scheme nationwide, contributing to a more circular economy and preventing plastic and other materials polluting our rivers, oceans and countryside.

🚴‍♀️ Supporting active travel

We’re doubling investment in active travel from £40 million to £80 million a year, developing cycling infrastructure and encouraging more people to use greener forms of transport. In 2019 we announced £27m to support 200 schemes to make it easier for people to walk and cycle.

What’s more, we’re empowering local authorities to improve bus services in local areas, and preparing for a public sector bid for the next ScotRail franchise contract.

☀️ Expanding renewable electricity

Nearly 75% of Scotland’s electricity in 2018 came from renewable sources, and we’ve doubled our exports of renewable electricity to the rest of the UK.

A new offshore wind farm in Aberdeen Bay is the world’s largest, maintaining Scotland’s reputation for renewable energy development.

We’re also investing over £10 million in the marine energy sector and tidal innovation, as well as developing a bioenergy action plan through cutting-edge research.

Wind power output in Scotland has hit a record high in the first half of 2019, producing almost double the amount of energy required to power all homes in Scotland. WWF Scotland called it “Scotland’s wind energy revolution”.

🤝 Transitioning our economy

We’re establishing a Just Transition Commission to advise Scottish Government ministers on how to speed up the adjustment to a greener, more sustainable economic model, which will also help to tackle inequality and poverty, and promote a fair and inclusive jobs market.

🖼 Empowering communities to take action

We launched the Climate Challenge Fund to encourage communities across Scotland to take action on climate change, through providing funding for community-led projects which lead to measurable reductions of carbon emissions.

In 2019 we also outlined plans for a network of ‘climate action towns’ across the country, backed by £1m in funding.

🌍 Setting the example on the world stage

Climate change is the defining challenge of our times and requires action at all levels of government, civic society and business worldwide.

We’re cooperating with partners around the world to share our experience of setting ambitious targets and our progressive low-carbon policies.

What’s more, the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund is helping developing countries transition to a low-carbon economy and promoting the moral message of climate justice.

Scotland’s achievements and ambition on climate change is recognised worldwide and won praise from the UN, Al Gore, and many others.

👀 Meanwhile, the Tories want to take the UK backward

Reckless Tory policies are continuing to damage the environment. This UK Tory government supports fracking – which harms species, causes disruption and threatens to contaminate soil – and presides over a tax hike on solar power, while the richest in society are getting a tax cut.

The Tories have also presided over cuts to renewable energy and reductions in research into green technologies, as Brexit continues to paralyse the UK government.

After declaring a climate emergency, Scotland will continue to listen to scientists and the voices of the next generation.

As the need for urgent climate action is clearer than ever, the UK government must follow Scotland’s footsteps and step up to the challenge.