Climate emissions results ‘alarming’ – serious action needed to meet targets

  • 15 Jun 2021
  • General News, Press Release

Media Statement from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland

For Immediate Use: Tuesday 15 June 2021

Greenhouse gas emissions data from 2019, released today, shows that Scotland has not met its annual target of reducing emissions. Three years of targets have now been missed ‒ for the years 2017, 2018, 2019.

Between 2018 and 2019, climate change emissions fell by 2.3 per cent but the target level of a 55 per cent fall from the baseline level was missed, with a reduction of 51.5 per cent.

Urgent action is needed across all sectors, including in the transport sector, where progress on emission reduction is still lacking. Emissions have only reduced by 7 per cent since 1990 but by less than 1 per cent since 2015 (figures include international aviation and shipping). 

On behalf of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, Jim Densham, Campaigns and Policy Manager for Cycling UK in Scotland said:

“Despite a small fall in Scotland’s annual emissions compared to 2018 it is alarming that the Scottish Government has missed its 2019 target to reduce emissions by 55 per cent since 1990.

“If the Government is going to be on track to meet the crucial target of a 75 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, it should be going beyond the targets, not regularly missing them.

“Instead of investing in expensive, high-carbon infrastructure ‒ £826 million is budgeted for spending on motorways and trunk roads this year ‒ expenditure must be directed towards projects that enable walking, safe cycling networks and accessible public transport routes that will also contribute to reductions in air pollution.”

Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, added:

“With the UN climate summit, COP26, being held in Glasgow this year, it is crucial that the Scottish Government show leadership when it comes to tackling the dual climate and nature crises and delivering climate justice for communities already impacted.

“The Scottish Government must place ambitious climate action at the centre of a just and green economic recovery from the devastating effects of Covid-19. Scotland needs to deliver  transformational change to play a fair part in limiting global heating to less than 1.5 degrees.”


For more information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please contact:

Fiona Hooker

Communications and Campaigns Officer, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland

Email: | Tel: 07724 840620


Notes to editors

Three years of targets have now been missed ‒ for the years 2017, 2018, 2019. In 2017, the fixed target was missed, and in 2018 and 2019 the percentage targets were missed. The full information can be found via the following links:

About Stop Climate Chaos Scotland

  • Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is a diverse coalition of over 60 organisations campaigning together on climate change.
  • We believe that the Scottish Government should take bold action to tackle climate change, with Scotland delivering our fair share of action in response to the Paris Agreement and supporting climate justice around the world.
  • Our coalition members range from environment, faith and development organisations to trade and student unions and community groups.
  • Our work is led by our members and is normally focussed on lobbying decision makers in Scotland, but we also work on UK-wide campaigns when appropriate with our sister organisations in England (The Climate Coalition) and Wales (Stop Climate Chaos Cymru).