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McArthur: Increased emissions must prompt complacent SNP Government to take bold action

June 11, 2019 6:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat Energy spokesperson, Liam McArthur MSP has called for urgent action to address emissions from "persistently problematic" sectors, in response to news that the statutory emissions target set by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 has not been met.

The Act provides for a fixed annual target for 2017 of 43.946 MtCO2e. Under the measurements set out in the Act, however, emissions for 2017 were calculated to be 46.4 MtCO2e, an increase of 3.7% from 2016.

Transport emissions continue to present problems, and emissions from this sector increased by 2.2% between 2016 and 2017. Road transport emissions have increased by 11.1% between 1990 and 2017, even despite improved efficiencies in vehicles.

Emissions from international aviation from Scotland have increased by 181% since 1990 due to greater demand.

Commenting on the figures, Mr McArthur said:

"SNP ministers have boasted about meeting their emissions targets. This report, however, shows that Scotland has had five years' progress knocked back in a single year.

"The First Minister may have declared a climate emergency but the situation is getting worse not better.

"In terms of transport, there has been next to no progress over recent years. Road transport and aviation remain a serious concern, with emissions for both on the increase. Yet the Scottish Government has been complacent and refused to take the bold action needed.

"The SNP should ditch its support for a third runway at Heathrow and urgently step up efforts to encourage a shift to ultra-low carbon vehicles, including a commitment to an early target for government and public bodies to phase out their polluting vehicles."