Even if ministers adopt all the measures they have currently proposed to cut carbon emissions, Scotland will still fall eight million tonnes short of the target reduction mandated by parliament for 2027.
The revelation, which comes as Scotland seeks to promote its “world-leading” climate targets on the world stage, has been greeted as “potentially disastrous” by environmentalists. They are demanding a “step change” in policy.
Next weekend the Scottish environment minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, is flying to Doha in Qatar for crucial international talks on combating climate change. Before he goes he is due to give a speech in Edinburgh about Scotland’s efforts to boost global “climate justice”, in place of the First Minister, Alex Salmond, who had to pull out for a funeral.
Yesterday, Wheelhouse pointed out that in the past Scotland had cut carbon emissions more than most other countries in the European Union. Between 1990 and 2010, Scottish emissions fell by 22.8%, compared to an average of 14.3% for 27 member states.