Scotland cutting emissions says CCC
Scotland's 2009 emissions fell 3% below the 2010 target according to the report of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
The CCC today (January 31) published its first progress report on emission reductions in Scotland which was written as part of the the Climate Change Act (2009).
The Committee assessed the progress that has been made in Scotland towards meeting legally binding targets to reduce emissions by 42% by 2020.
According to the Scottish Government the report means the country is already almost two thirds of the way towards achieving the 42% 2020 emissions reduction target.
Overall the CCC reports that emissions fell in Scotland by 7% in 2009, mainly due to the impact of the recession and a reduction in economic output.
However, emissions are likely to have risen throughout 2010, as a result of the cold temperatures at the start and end of 2010 and due to increased economic activity, making the overall decrease about 3%.
The report also praises Scotland's 'good progress' on investing in renewable forms of electricity, with new capacity being added to the grid at the rate required to meet targets and 'outperformance' of targets for renewable heat.
It is also impressed with preparations for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects, including putting in place a regulatory framework for each stage of CCS.
But the CCC say that in order to sustain this progress, new policies will be required, and there is an important role for the Scottish Government to play in making sure UK-wide policies are adopted in Scotland.
CCC chief executive, David Kennedy, said: "Good progress has been made by the Scottish Government in reducing emissions across the economy.
"Going forward, it will be important for the Scottish Government to continue to support the implementation of policies at both UK and national level to further cut emissions, resulting in climate change and wider economic benefits."
Scotland's minister for environment and climate change, Stewart Stevenson, said: "The CCC report is a welcome contribution to our understanding of what we need to do to achieve our climate change targets.
"I am pleased to note the committee's acknowledgement of the positive contribution the policies in our first Report on Policies and Proposals (RPP) have made to emissions abatement.
"Our next RPP, which is due later this year, will also include a review of the current actions we are taking to reduce emissions."