Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 12:20 UK

Scots emissions 'down by fifth'

Grangemouth petrochemical plant
Scotland wants to reduce emissions by 42% by 2020

Scottish greenhouse gas emissions fell by almost a fifth between 1990 and 2007, official figures suggest.

The biggest falls were from energy suppliers and the public sector, but the number of greenhouse gases produced by aviation and shipping grew.

The Scottish Government is committed to a 42% reduction in harmful emissions, from the 1990 level, by 2020.

Climate change minister Stewart Stevenson said meeting that target would still be a challenge.

The figures for greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland indicated that total emissions, including international aviation and shipping, were 56.9 million tonnes CO2 equivalent (Mt CO2e) in 2007, compared with 61 MT CO2e in 2006 - a 6.8% drop.

'Making progress'

This meant that compared to the 1990 baseline of 70 Mt CO2e, greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland had fallen by 18.7%.

Mr Stevenson said: "These figures for 2007 are good news, which show that we are making continued progress in reducing our emissions against the 1990 baseline.

"However, the data also demonstrates the size of the task now facing us - and the rest of the world - in reducing emissions.

"The Scottish Government's commitment to making progress is demonstrated by the fact that, in the past year, we have passed our own world-leading Climate Change Act, which clearly sets out the government's commitment to making the changes we need."

Dr Richard Dixon, director of environmental campaign group WWF Scotland, said: "There are big challenges to change transport policy, insulate more homes faster and reduce emissions from farming, but our targets are exactly the sort of level that every industrialised country needs to aim for if we are to head off the worst extremes of climate change."

Sustainable transport organisation Transform Scotland welcomed the figures, but said there was "no chance" of meeting climate change targets while emissions from the transport sector continued to rise.

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