Construction News

Tue May 21 2024

Related Information

Scotland ditches 2030 carbon goals

19 Apr The Scottish government has abandoned its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions targets and reset for 2045 instead.

Energy secretary Màiri McAllan tells the Scottish parliament that the plans have changed
Energy secretary Màiri McAllan tells the Scottish parliament that the plans have changed

Scotland has failed to meet eight out of the last 12 of its annual targets and has been told by the Climate Change Committee that its target of reducing carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is unrealistic.

Acknowledging that the 2030 target was out of reach, cabinet secretary for economy, net zero and energy Màiri McAllan said: “We must now act to chart a course to 2045 at a pace and scale that is feasible, fair and just.”

The goal now, therefore, is 100% net zero by 2045.

She blamed the UK government for the SNP regime’s reverse. “With severe budgetary restrictions imposed by the UK government and under the continuing constraints of devolution, we are trying to deliver societal and economic transformation with one hand tied behind our back,” she said. “Indeed, such is the UK government’s unprecedent economic mismanagement, full delivery of our plans will be contingent on the UK government reversing the 9% cut to our capital budget.”

The Scottish government presents the U-turn as “stepping up action” in its publicity material. New legislation will be brought forward to introduce multi-year ‘carbon budgets’ replacing the current, annual targets.

Scottish plumbers saw this coming. Fiona Hodgson, chief executive of the Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF), said: "The 2030 targets, which always seemed more driven by the pursuit of headlines than establishing a meaningful, step-by-step roadmap towards the 2045 climate goals, were sadly and predictably abandoned due to their unrealistic ambitions and the lack of a realistic plan to support them.

“This approach has inevitably led to their failure and fostered uncertainty among businesses and the public about the feasibility of future targets."

Related Information

She called for a policy reset: "To prevent further setbacks and foster an investment-friendly environment, the government must systematically overhaul the target-setting process. These targets should not be arbitrary or merely top-down, reverse-engineered mandates but should be collaboratively developed, realistic, and achievable objectives with clear steps and milestones."

She said that SNIPEF remained committed to advancing low-carbon heating solutions. “Through thoughtful planning, robust collaboration, and consistent government support, we are confident that significant strides can be made towards the 2045 net-zero target."

The UK Green Building Council said it was time for Scottish leaders to step up.

Simon McWhirter, deputy chief executive at UKGBC, said: “This decision means Scotland has lost its place as a climate leader. The scrapping of the 2030 climate target comes after significant criticism of the relative lack of progress on delivery and illustrates the faltering translation of ambition to action. This is not the political leadership that Scotland needs.

“Scotland has missed eight of the 12 legally-binding annual emissions reduction targets and the hard reality of our transition to a net zero society is that the critical heavy lifting needs to be done now. The level of ambition that created the challenging 2030 waypoint is the only way to keep Scotland’s 2045 net zero target in play.

“How we heat our homes and other buildings is the third largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland, so we have joined other industry bodies in calling on Scottish government to use the Heat in Buildings Bill to introduce bold, and essential, measures that will enable Scotland to realise its climate ambitions and bring us closer to our net zero and fuel poverty targets.

“Making deep cuts to Scotland’s emissions this decade is a ferociously difficult challenge, but now is the time for leaders to lead and step-up to face that challenge, not cower away from it. Numerous countries are successfully developing plans to improve energy efficiency, demonstrating that a rapid transition is possible. For Scotland to reclaim its climate leadership, urgent action is needed to encourage and support people to switch to clean heating and to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings, reducing fuel poverty and delivering thousands of green jobs.”

Got a story? Email


Click here to view latest construction news »