Published today, as requested under the Scottish Climate Change Act, the CCC’s second progress report to Scottish Ministers has found that Scotland has performed well across most sectors in implementing low-carbon policy measures.

In the report, the CCC noted that Scotland missed its 2010 carbon reduction target by just over 2%, but attributed this to exceptionally cold winter months which increased the energy demand for heating.

Despite this, the report stated that Scotland is continuing to lead the UK on renewable power with 36% of electricity consumption met from renewable sources – exceeding the 2011 target of 31% and far surpassing the UK’s 9% generation.

Setting itself apart from the UK as a whole, Scotland had also set a 2030 decarbonisation target, providing longer-term certainty for the power sector.

In addition, the report noted that Scotland had excelled in meeting European waste targets by introducing a new body, Zero Waste Scotland.

CCC chief executive David Kennedy said: “Scotland has made good progress in delivering on emission reduction measures to date. This lays the foundations for meeting ambitious Scottish emissions targets and building a low-carbon economy in Scotland with the benefits that this will bring.

“It is important that the Scottish Government now focuses on fully developing its policy proposals and ensuring these and existing policies are delivered to their full potential.”

Going forward, the CCC recommends that the Scottish Government plays a proactive role in the design and implementation of the UK Government’s Electricity Market Reform, as the UK’s uncertainty over the support framework for low-carbon generation beyond 2020 risks destabilising investment markets in the longer term.

The CCC also says the Scottish Government’s forthcoming renewable heat strategy should identify and overcome non-financial barriers to the uptake of renewable heat in Scotland, as well as identifying opportunities to maximise the potential of the Renewable Heat Incentive in Scotland.

However, the report suggests that meeting targets to 2020 will be difficult unless the EU moves to a 30% target for 2020 and tightens the EU ETS cap accordingly.

Conor McGlone

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