Scotland launches major energy efficiency push

10th June 2015

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Management/saving


Mark Andrew Crowther

Energy efficiency is to be designated a national infrastructure priority after Scotland again failed to meet its climate change targets.

Scotland's emissions fell to 49.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2013, according to figures released yesterday. This is a 38.4% reduction from the 1990 baseline against which the targets are measured.

It is a larger decline than the 31.7% anticipated when Scotland passed climate change legislation in 2009. However, since the annual targets were set, the baseline has been increased by 10.6 MtCO2e due to technical changes in the way carbon emissions are measured.

As a result, Scotland missed its 2013 target by 1.7 MtCO2e, Scottish climate change minister Aileen McLeod told the Scottish parliament yesterday.

"The figures show that if it had not been for successive increases to the baseline since the targets were established, Scotland would have met, and exceeded, our target for this year - and the three previous years too.

"Of course, if our targets were easy to achieve they would not be ambitious enough," she said.

The government has identified energy efficiency as a key way to meet targets, as the energy to heat and cool buildings in Scotland account for approximately half the country's greenhousegas emissions, according to McLeod.

Funding by the Scottish government for energy efficiency projects has increased from £99 million last year to £119 million this year, she added.

In March, the Committee on Climate Change concluded that Scotland's future targets remain "very challenging" and recommended that the government in Edinburgh investigate new ways to reduce emissions beyond current policies.

Other new initiatives announced by the Scottish government yesterday include:

  • New flaring technology to reduce CO2 emissions from landfill sites in Glasgow and East Lothian.
  • An additional £5 million over two years to support local authorities that have yet to roll out food waste collections.
  • A further £3 million for peatland restoration.
  • Research on the "school run" to identify ways to reduce emissions from cars.
  • A low-emission zone pilot project in partnership with a local authority to test the feasibility of restricting vehicles that not meet a specific standard from an area.

Tom Ballantine, chair of the campaign group, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, praised the push on energy efficiency, but said the government's plans for transport fall well short of what is needed.

"Climate emissions from transport continue to languish at 1990 levels, and it seems like the Scottish government's transport policies are stuck in the last century too," he said.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

A social conscience

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

David Symons, FIEMA, director of sustainability at WSP, and IEMA’s Lesley Wilson, tell Chris Seekings why a growing number of organisations are turning to nature-based solutions to meet their climate goals

6th June 2024

Read more

A system-level review is needed to deliver a large-scale programme of retrofit for existing buildings. Failure to do so will risk missing net-zero targets, argues Amanda Williams

31st May 2024

Read more

Chris Seekings reports from a webinar helping sustainability professionals to use standards effectively

31st May 2024

Read more

Although many organisations focus on scope 1 and 2 emissions, it is vital to factor in scope 3 emissions and use their footprint to drive business change

31st May 2024

Read more

IEMA submits response to the Future Homes Standard consultation

31st May 2024

Read more

What is the role for nature in the Climate Change Act? Sophie Mairesse reports

20th May 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close