The Scottish Government
- The Scottish Government
- 5.2 million (2010)
- £137.5 billion (2009)
GHG emissions: 51 million tons CO2e (2009). For more info on political and economic context, see below.
Scotland, a devolved nation within the United Kingdom, has a rich history and culture as well as a varied landscape made up of the famous highlands, islands, lochs and firths. Scotland's economy has now shifted from having a focus on shipbuilding and heavy industry to one with financial services, electronics and ICT technologies, engineering, chemicals, energy and tourism industries at its core.
In 1998 a new devolved Scottish Parliament was formed by the UK Government. The Scottish Government has the power to set its own national environmental policy and to allocate funds. Its revenue raising ability is limited at present. With the 2011 election of the Scottish National Party to a majority, however, it is possible that the Parliament’s legislative powers will increase.
Scotland’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come predominantly from three sectors; power (36%), transport (21%) and agriculture and forestry (21%). Its power sector has a diverse energy mix, with nuclear, coal and gas providing 76% of generation (30%, 29% and 17% respectively). However, an increasing capacity in renewable energy generation has been a recent trend. 22% of energy is now renewable, and of this, 13% is non-hydro.
The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 sets out greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 from 1990 levels, with the possibility to enforce shorter term targets if necessary. The Act also put in place a framework for progress reporting, assigned duties to public bodies, and created provisions for forestry, energy efficiency, waste reduction and adaptation programs. Finally, it outlined the responsibilities for public engagement and carbon assessment.
The development of renewable energy technologies and smart grids is a high priority for the Scottish Government. Four government agencies with responsibility for Scotland’s environment and heritage have produced a joint statement on their climate change actions.
- Scottish ministers have consented 48 renewable projects since May 2007 - more than double the number for the previous four years.
- Scotland successfully pressed UK Government to release £103 million of Scotland’s Fossil Fuel Levy and is currently working on plans to use the funds to step up investment in the renewables sector. The remaining half will be used to capitalize the Green Investment Bank.
- £35 million Prototyping for Offshore Wind Energy Renewables Scotland POWERS fund will support production of full-scale prototypes of next generation offshore wind turbines.
- £13 million WATERS fund is supporting development and testing of new marine energy prototypes in Scottish waters.
- £18 million Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund will help develop Scotland’s first commercial wave and tidal power arrays in Pentland Firth, Orkney Waters and elsewhere in Scotland.
- £7.75 million Communities and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) loan fund has supported 42 community-based energy generation projects so far this year.
- £2.5 million District Heating Loan Scheme offers loans of up to £400,000 to local authorities, registered social landlords, SMEs and energy services companies.
- Since 2007 Scotland have invested £14 million annually supporting energy efficiency for householders and businesses across Scotland.
- Since 2007, Scotland has benefited from an increased share of professionally installed CERT cavity wall and loft insulation measures across the UK (93,000 installations).
- Since 2008, the £37.7 million Climate Challenge Fund has supported 345 communities across Scotland to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Scottish Water announced on January 24 2012 that household water charges will remain frozen for 2012-2013, which means water charges have remained at the same level for four years.
The Climate Change Act required the Scottish Government to publish a plan to for promoting energy efficiency, and improving the energy efficiency of living accommodation. The Energy Efficiency Action Plan sets out details of current policies and options for energy efficiency in Scotland for households, business and the public sector.
The Scottish Government is responsible for setting building standards for new non-domestic buildings. New energy standards applied from October 1, 2010 deliver a 30% reduction in GHG emissions from new non-domestic buildings when compared to 2007 standards and around 70% compared to 1990 standards.
Scotland is keen to move towards a low carbon built environment - all new buildings are to be net zero carbon by 2030. The UK Green Deal will work alongside systems of incentives and public engagement to encourage retrofitting of existing buildings. In 2011, the Government put a total of £54.5 million funding into Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency programmes. Read the Low Carbon Building Standards Strategy for Scotland.
Scotland has also bet on carbon capture and storage (CCS). CCS should be demonstrated on a Scottish coal power station by 2020. It should then be economically and technical proven and progressively fitted to all coal and gas thermal plants thereafter by 2030.
Renewable energy development is beginning to form a central part of Scotland’s economy. In 2009, 27% of the country’s energy came from renewable sources, and in 2010, the Government raised its minimum target for the national renewable portfolio from 50% to 80% of supply by 2020.
Scotland has committed to 100% of its gross annual electricity consumption coming from renewable sources by 2020. Scotland's has also targeted 11% of heat demand to be from renewable sources by this date.
To this end, the Government provides £13.5 million annual funding for community renewables and micro-generation as a way to reduce demand on the grid. Surrounded on three sides by sea with some of the highest tides in the world and covering nearly 800 islands, Scotland also has vast potential for marine power, as well as offshore and onshore wind.
By 2020, the Scottish Government plans to develop a mature market and infrastructure for low carbon (hybrid electric and electric) cars, resulting in average efficiencies for new cars of less than 95 grams CO2 per kilometer. It will provide travel planning advice to all households and in workplaces with more than 30 employees. Finally, it aims for at least 10% of all journeys to be made by bicycle.
From 2011, £4.3 million is available to support the purchase of low carbon vehicles. Similar support is available to fund the difference between a low carbon bus and a conventional fuel bus.
The Scottish Government operates four freight grant schemes, to encourage the transfer of freight from road to rail or water, where the road option is cheaper. Railway electrification and service improvements are currently underway, however these have been policy for some time, and are therefore included in "business as usual" emissions projections.
Sustainable land use
Emissions from agriculture and related land use are estimated at 21% of Scotland’s total. Between 1990 and 2009 greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and related land use have decreased by 27% largely due to more efficient nitrogen fertilizer use and a reduction in livestock.
The Government is committed to taking forward the sustainable land use agenda and recognizes the need to optimize the use of the country’s land resources so as to benefit Scotland’s economy, environment and communities. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 committed the Government to developing a Land Use Strategy. This was published in March 2011 and sets out the Government’s policy agenda for land use within the context of climate change and associated challenges. An Action Plan to accompany the Strategy was published in December 2011. Scotland has commitment to plant 100 million trees by 2015.
A targeted communication strategy, Farming for a Better Climate (FFBC), delivered by Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), encourages farmers to adopt efficiency measures that reduce emissions while having a positive impact on business performance.
The Scottish Government is on the verge of introducing some of the progressive waste legislation (Zero Waste Regulations 2012) anywhere in the world that will require high levels of source segregation of materials for recycling, from both households and businesses including food waste. The policy will see the end of landfilling organic waste by 2020. This forms part of Scotland's overall approach to achieving a low carbon economy, whereby material resourced efficiency and moving towards a close loop economy are both recognized as key to breaking the the link between growth and carbon emissions. The policy is backed by a national Zero Waste Programme.
Great Britain has had a legal framework for competitive feed-in tariffs (FITs) since 2010. Over the next five to ten years, ScottishPower will implement smart meters, allowing users to save energy and sell electricity to the grid.
Devolved powers and competencies relevant to climate and energy
Climate Change policy is a devolved area; Energy is mainly reserved with devolved responsibility for Energy Efficiency.
Most important economic sectors
Food and drink, chemicals, business services, electrical and instrument engineering, and mechanical engineering.
GHG breakdown by sector (%):
Current power sector mix/electricity (% of production in 2010):