Scotland is committed to achieving net zero emissions for the benefit of our environment, people, and prosperity. This involves taking action to reduce emissions and also adapting to the impacts of climate change.
To meet our targets, a rapid transformation is needed across all sectors of our economy and society. We have set ambitious targets for net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045. This means that within one generation, our contribution to climate change will end.
To support Scotland’s transition to net zero, we have published a Climate Change Plan update with increased ambition. This plan reflects the new targets set by the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.
Our Net Zero Nation website provides a central resource for individuals, communities, and organizations seeking information on how to tackle the climate emergency and learn about the actions being taken by Scotland as a whole.
We are taking various actions to address climate change, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and inclusive transition, promoting climate change adaptation, supporting decarbonization in the public sector, engaging with businesses and industries to promote decarbonization, encouraging low carbon living among the public, supporting communities in tackling climate change, leading international action on climate change, providing support to developing countries through the Climate Justice Fund, participating in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme, and monitoring nitrogen use through the Scottish Nitrogen Balance Sheet.
Scotland’s transition to a net zero emissions economy is already underway, driven by our climate change legislation, which is one of the most ambitious frameworks in the world. This has led to the creation of jobs and the development of innovative industries. Our commitment to the Paris Agreement will also support a global market for low carbon goods and services, enhancing the competitiveness of low carbon businesses in Scotland.
In addition to renewable energy, there are economic opportunities in sectors such as energy efficiency and low carbon services. Investing in low carbon technologies and practices can also promote regional development and benefit smaller businesses across Scotland.
By setting a target of achieving net zero emissions by 2045, we provide certainty and motivation to markets, businesses, and industries to transition to low carbon alternatives.
In order to support our approach to climate change, we receive independent advice from the Climate Change Committee, which provides expert guidance on emissions reduction targets and regular assessments of Scotland’s adaptation programs. We also have a Just Transition Commission, which advises the government on maximizing economic and social opportunities while managing risks and challenges related to meeting climate change targets. Additionally, we have established Scotland’s Climate Assembly to gather recommendations from a diverse group of people and ensure their voices are heard in our climate change policy.
These efforts are supported by legislation such as the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, which was amended in 2019 to set more ambitious emissions reduction targets and introduce measures like a Citizens Assembly and a Scottish Nitrogen Balance Sheet.
For further information on these initiatives, you can visit the archived websites of the Climate Change Assembly and our website’s archive.