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Scotland cuts emissions but a third of the nation don't believe in climate change

8th September 2011
Greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland have fallen by 28.9 per cent since 1990, according to latest official statistics.
The 2009 figures show a seven per cent reduction between 2008 and 2009, with total emissions falling from 54.8 million tonnes CO2 equivalent in 2008 to 51.0 in 2009.

Taking emissions trading into account, Scotland's emissions have fallen by 27.6 per cent since the 1990 base year, meaning that Scotland is on course to achieving its 2020 target of reducing emissions by 42 per cent.

However, in a separate report which measures key Scottish environmental measures, researchers found a third of Scots raised some degree of doubt about the immediacy of climate change and its effects.

The Scottish Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours Survey 2008 included a question to gauge public concern about the perceived immediacy of climate change. Respondents were asked to choose one statement that came closest to their own view.

The majority of respondents (57 per cent) said that "Climate change is an immediate and urgent problem". However, more than one in three expressed some degree of doubt, with approximately one fifth (22 per cent) saying that "Climate change is more of a problem for the future" and around one in eight either saying "I'm still not convinced that climate change is happening" (nine per cent) or that "Climate change is not really a problem" ( four per cent).

Around four per cent said that that none of these statements closely matched their own view on climate change.

The report also revealed that in 2009, Scotland generated 51,325 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, three per cent more than in 2008. Renewable electricity generation increased by approximately three per cent over this period, accounting for 21 per cent of the total generated.

Scotland generated 10,744 GWh of electricity from renewable sources in 2009. This equated to 27 per cent of the gross consumption of electricity in Scotland, compared with 12 per cent in 2000.

The Scottish Government has set a target for renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland's gross annual electricity consumption by 2020, with an interim milestone of 31 per cent by 2011.

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