Extreme weather blamed for missing climate-change target

The SNP blamed the increase on prolonged periods of extremely cold weather during 2010, which forced households to keep heating on for longer.Despite the rise, ministers claimed that long-term reduction was still on track with an overall emissions drop of nearly a quarter (24.3 per cent) between 1990 and 2010 – more than half way to the climate-change target of a 42 per cent fall by 2020.

The SNP blamed the increase on prolonged periods of extremely cold weather during 2010, which forced households to keep heating on for longer.

Despite the rise, ministers claimed that long-term reduction was still on track with an overall emissions drop of nearly a quarter (24.3 per cent) between 1990 and 2010 – more than half way to the climate-change target of a 42 per cent fall by 2020.

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However, environmentalists and opposition politicians branded the failure “unacceptable” and warned that Scotland’s aim to lead the world on tackling climate change had not been translated into action.

Environment and climate-change minister Stewart Stevenson said: “It is . . . no surprise that domestic heating emissions rose as a result of the extreme weather. Scotland faced its coldest winter temperatures in almost a century. The longer term trend reveals greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by around a quarter since 1990, signalling we are still on track to achieve the 2020 target.”

That claim was disputed by the Scottish Labour Party which said there was a trend of rising emissions from transport and homes, up 2 per cent and 3 per cent respectively since 1990.