Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets


If we’re going to achieve a zero emissions future, it’s vital the Scottish Government’s new Climate Change Bill includes some bold new targets.

What are we calling for?

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is calling for Scotland to set new targets to achieve a 77% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest.

Why have we set these targets?

A team of international experts on climate science recently concluded that if we’re going to have a good chance of limiting global warming to 2ºC then global emissions need to halve in each decade and reach zero emissions by 2050.

If we’re going to go one step further and try to limit global warming to around 1.5 ºC, as the world agreed to try to do through the Paris Agreement, then our emissions need to fall to zero even faster, ideally closer to 2040 rather than 2050.

To do this would mean reducing our emissions by 77% by 2030 and 90% by 2040 – based on our emissions in 1990 (see graph below). Sticking to this plan would mean we’d be able to reach zero emissions by 2050 at the absolute latest. The graph below shows what that would look like:

This 77% reduction target for 2030 is also consistent with a ‘Fair Shares’ approach, which says industrialised countries, who have historical responsibility for causing more emissions, should do more towards meeting the 1.5oC temperature limit than countries that have only recently industrialised.

Economic experts have also consistently urged the need for more action to reduce emissions earlier rather than later because it’s cheaper. Urgent action and a 77% target in 2030 will mean that Scotland does its fair share, is more likely to meet a zero 2050 target and mean action is more affordable.

How we get to zero

Setting a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest is the first of our asks for this campaign. In order to get to zero, we need a roadmap for how we’re going to get there – which is why we’re also asking the Scottish Government to also commit to:


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