Carbon footprint of Scottish homes slashed by 25%

Scottish households have reduced their emissions footprint by an average of 25% in eight years thanks to the growth of renewables and improved energy efficiency measures, new analysis has found.

WWF Scotland figures also show that climate damage caused by people using energy to power and heat their homes has fallen since the Scottish Climate Change Act was passed in 2009.

This upturn in fortunes has coincided with the decarbonisation of the country’s electricity supply.

Renewables now supply more than half of Scotland’s electricity output, while advances have been made in the energy efficiency of buildings due to domestic legislation and more efficient appliances, driven by EU regulations.

“These figures show that individuals across Scotland and governments at every level have played a part in cutting the climate damage of our home energy usage,” WWF Scotland acting head of policy Gina Hanrahan said.

“When it comes to cutting our emissions, and protecting ourselves, the places and nature we hold dear from the worst effects of climate change, we all need to continue to do our bit.”

Zero-carbon future

Scotland remained at the forefront of the global low-carbon transition in 2017. Highlights from last year included the world’s first floating wind farm delivering electricity to the Scottish grid and the country’s largest solar farm receiving the green light.

The Scottish Government last year committed to deliver 50% of all energy from renewables across heat, transport and electricity, alongside plans to phase out new polluting petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032.

A new Scottish Climate Change Bill is set to be published in 2018. Green campaigners have called for the new document to contain a range of new measures, including a target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, and a pledge to ensure that all new homes have at least Energy Performance Rating C by 2025.

Hanrahan continued: “A new Climate Change Bill this year is an opportunity to double down on our commitments to make our homes more energy efficient, to increase the use of renewables to heat homes, and put Scotland on the path to a zero-carbon future.”

George Ogleby

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