Generating spin

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YESTERDAY the Scottish Government released the latest data on Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions (for 2013). It claims that there has been a reduction of 14 per cent since 2012 and that it has only missed its target reduction for 2013 by 1.7 million tonnes CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e).

However, by taking advantage of the EU Emissions Trading System, the Scottish Government has managed to portray Scotland’s emission as lower than they really were.

Instead of a reduction to 49.7 MtCO2e, the reduction was only to 53.0 MtCO2e, a reduction of only 3.4 per cent (from 54.9 MtCO2e in 2012). 

This minimal reduction appears to be mainly due, not to greater use of renewable energy but to less use of coal and gas for electricity generation and greater use of nuclear power. 

It is ironic that Scotland is relying more and more on nuclear generation to reduce its emissions when the Scottish Government is set on closing our nuclear stations when they reach the end of their operational use and not replacing them. 

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan

Edinburgh