The country’s goal of reducing its greenhouse emissions by 42 percent by 2020 has gained its First Minister several awards for its positive intentions and proactive strategy. However, 2014 is the third year in a row that Scotland has failed to meet its annual reduction target.
In 2012, emissions even rose to 55.6 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This was above the government’s target of 53.3 Mt and encouraged critics to wonder whether the Scottish government’s green policy is all talk and no action.
Claire Baker, a Labour environment spokesman, described the recent missed target as ” deeply embarrassing” and claimed that “significant action” would be needed if the Scottish government wanted to instil faith in the people concerning the country’s ability of meeting its targets.
A ministerial taskforce was appointed earlier this month to take control of the green policy. Paul Wheelhouse, the country’s environment minister, said that a Cabinet subcommittee on climate change would help to better co-ordinate Scotland’s response to emissions. The body will involve Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, as well as other cross-party ministers and expert voices.
Wheelhouse said the subcommittee will complement the Public Sector Climate Leaders’ Forum and the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Delivery Board.
Opposition parties, however, have criticised the recent strategies regarding greenhouse emissions, saying that the government is only doing the ‘mere minimum’ to address the problem. They also accused Alex Salmond’s administration of not trying to tackle the problem seriously.
Jamie McGrigor said, “The Scottish Government likes to talk a big game on climate change, but these figures show it isn’t matching with action or results.
“[It] shows the Scottish Government is nothing like as serious as it professes to be on the environment.”