Scotland’s green credentials have been strengthened by the release of new figures relating to the de-carbonisation of key national industries.
Government’s records show that, from 1990 to 2014, Scotland has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 39.5%, compared to a UK-wide figure of 33%. The figures ensure Scotland’s place at the forefront of the green movement, with only Sweden posting higher numbers in the EU-15 community.
Scotland’s willingness to promote investment in renewable energy has been key to recent success. Environmental campaigners spoke of the vast changes witnessed in the power sector in particular, where the move towards more renewable sources of power, such as wind farms, has catalysed the upward surge in ecological energy.
Indeed, wind energy remains at the heart of Scotland’s renewable strategy, with international energy firms continuing to invest in Scottish offshore wind projects. Only last week, Swedish firm Vattenfall came to an agreement with Scottish-based Aberdeen Renewable Energy group to invest £300 million in the construction of what will be Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility.
Coupled with the news in June that the Scottish Government had achieved its 2020 target for cutting climate emissions six years early, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the 2020 figure will be revised to reduce emissions by 50% since 1990, a landmark statement for a European nation.
There is, however, much work to be done. While pleased with the progress which has been made, environmental activists observed that there remain other sectors, notably housing and transport, which remain largely unchanged since 1990. Not only would industrial reform on a wider scale continue to reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions, but it would bring additional social and health benefits, including purer quality of air.
On the international stage, Scotland, as a member of the UK, signed the COP 21 climate change agreement in Paris in November 2015. One of the accord’s main pledges was to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Scotland’s leading role in the movement should serve as an example to other European nations, 9 of whom ranked among the worst 25 carbon emitters in the world in 2012.
We no longer have the luxury of choice when it comes to climate change. A commitment to more ecological practices and reducing waste is an obligation, and one which the Scottish Government and environmental sector have openly embraced. Experience Scotland is proud to work alongside these institutions, sharing their devotion to reducing climate change and protecting Scotland’s environment.