Carbon footprint of households down by 25% since 2009

4 January 2018, 06:39

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The carbon footprint of Scottish households has fallen by 25% on average since new legislation committing to greenhouse gas reductions was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2009.

New analysis of UK Government figures from environmental charity WWF Scotland shows how "climate damage" caused by people using electricity, gas and other fuels to power and heat their homes has dropped since the Scottish Climate Change Act was passed setting targets for greenhouse gas cuts.

Between 2009 and 2015 - the most recent statistics available - carbon emissions per person in Scotland have fallen from 2.46 tonnes to 1.84.

The rate of decrease differs between local authority areas, with Highland recording the largest drop at 30.3% and West Lothian the smallest at 21.6%.

Gina Hanrahan, acting head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: "The Scottish Parliament's first Climate Change Act put us at the forefront of a global energy transition.

"These figures show that individuals across Scotland and governments at every level have played a part in cutting the climate damage of our home energy usage.

"When it comes to cutting our emissions, and protecting ourselves, the places and nature we hold dear from the worst effects of climate change, we all need to continue to do our bit.

"This analysis shows Scotland's low-carbon transition is working but we must step up our efforts.

"A new Climate Change Bill this year is an opportunity to double down on our commitments to make our homes more energy efficient, to increase the use of renewables to heat homes and put Scotland on the path to a zero-carbon future."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We welcome this analysis which shows the progress that we have made on climate change.

"Over the past ten years, Scotland has been at the forefront of the global fight against climate change and continues to lead the UK in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Our recent Programme for Government includes bold new commitments on low-carbon transport and infrastructure and accelerates our action on energy efficiency.

"We have increased investment in support of these measures across our draft Budget 2018-19.

"Scotland's climate targets are already the most ambitious in the UK and our proposals for a new Climate Change Bill will increase long-term ambition further, in response to the Paris Agreement."