Scotland set to scrap key climate targets

Scotland is expected to announce a dramatic watering down of its key climate targets tomorrow, Sky News understands.

The Scottish government will deliver a ministerial statement at Holyrood after a report from the Climate Change Committee (CCC) said the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030 is out of reach.

Scotland has missed eight of the past 12 annual targets and its wider plans are "beyond what is credible", according to the independent experts.

Campaign organisation Friends of the Earth Scotland described the decision as "the worst environmental decision in the history of the Scottish parliament".

Ministers and government officials have refused to comment tonight on suggestions its ambitions will be weakened but multiple sources are widely expecting a U-turn.

In a damning report to the Scottish parliament last month, the CCC said: "The Scottish government is failing to achieve Scotland's ambitious climate goals."

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Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who announced the initial climate plans, rejected suggestions she had "overcooked" the ambitions when asked at a COP26 event in Glasgow in 2021.

Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan will deliver the update in Edinburgh on Thursday afternoon.

Mark Ruskell, climate spokesperson for the Green Party, which is in partnership with the SNP in government, said: "We are absolutely determined to accelerate the urgent and substantial action needed to tackle the climate crisis as laid out by the CCC recently, and fully expect the Scottish government to respond to that challenge.

"This is a pivotal moment for us to ramp up the kind of meaningful change that will put us on track to achieve net zero by 2045 at the latest, in the face of a complete reversal of climate action from the UK government."

'Worst environmental decision in history of Scottish parliament'

Imogen Dow, Friends of the Earth Scotland's head of campaigns, said: "If the SNP and Green ministers choose to scrap these vital climate commitments, it would be the worst environmental decision in the history of the Scottish parliament.

"The 2030 target could and should have been met, but instead it looks like politicians are going to break their promises and betray both their constituents and the most vulnerable people on the frontlines of climate breakdown.

"These climate targets are based on what climate science says Scotland must do as part of a global effort to limit dangerous warming. Politicians right across the spectrum made a promise to the people of Scotland by voting for strong 2030 targets so they must be willing to work together to back the transformative ideas that improve lives and cut climate pollution.

"Instead of using the past decade to deliver warm homes, reliable public transport and a fair transition away from fossil fuels, inept, short-termist politicians have kept millions of people trapped in the broken status quo that only benefits big polluters."