Scotland's climate change legislation

Prior to 2019 our action to tackle climate change was guided by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 which committed Scotland to a 42% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020 and 80% reduction by 2050. The Act requires Local Authorities to act sustainably, contribute to carbon emissions reduction targets and to climate change adaptation. In 2019, the Scottish Government’s commitment to responding to the climate emergency was strengthened through a new Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 which sets a target for net zero emissions by 2045. We also have the following interim targets:

  • 56% reduction by 2020
  • 75% reduction by 2030
  • 90% reduction by 2040

With the introduction of these new ambitious emissions reduction targets, the Scottish Government has recognised the urgency and level of commitment required tackle the climate crisis and build a future that respects people and planet.