The Scottish Government has laid regulations which will build further on its Climate Change Act and its target of reducing carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020. Under the terms of the Act, Ministers were allowed to vary by order the interim target of a 42 per cent reduction in emissions based on expert advice from the Committee on Climate Change. The Committee on Climate Change has confirmed that the 42 per cent target represents an appropriate contribution to global emissions reductions in 2020 and would put Scotland on the path to meeting the target of an 80 per cent reduction by 2050. On that basis, Scottish Ministers will retain the ambitious 42 per cent target. Progress on the target will be mapped by a series of annual targets, with the first batch, covering the period 2010-2022, having to be set by 1 June this year. The targets in the draft order laid today are set at the levels suggested by the Committee on Climate Change with the exception of those for 2011 and 2012. Rather than being set flat as the Committee on Climate Change had suggested, those targets will require that emissions fall by 0.5 per cent year-on-year. Annual targets to cover 2023-2027 must be set by 31 October 2011, and further batches set every five years thereafter. Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Climate Change, said: "We know that legislation alone won't deliver the targets. It needs to be translated into real changes in everyday actions: by businesses; the public sector; voluntary and community groups and individuals. Better public understanding is essential if people are to be motivated to act. "The Scottish Government, its agencies and its non-government partners will need to work together to explain what's needed and to incentivise action. Alongside that, action is needed to reduce the emissions from transport, housing, business, land management and other sources. The nation must also become better informed consumers. The public sector is a substantial purchaser in its own right and can encourage the development of greener goods and services. Scotland's schools, colleges and universities must also work alongside the business sector to increase public awareness and to research and develop innovative solutions and technologies. "Reducing emissions by at least 80 per cent from 1990 levels over the next 40 years will require a radical change in the way in which society uses its energy and land. Some sectors will find it more difficult to reduce emissions by this extent without unacceptable changes in Scotland's social fabric or significant changes to consumer behaviour; that may mean other sectors will need to go further."


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