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Scotland's climate change targets

Scotland’s world-leading climate change legislation sets a target date for net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.


Scotland declared a global climate change emergency in April 2019. The need to take action is more urgent that ever. As part of the global effort to fight the climate emergency, Scotland has set an ambitious target to become 'Net Zero' by 2045, five years ahead of the rest of the UK.

Read more about what that means and what's involved in making change on the netzero.scot website.

Securing a green recovery on a path to net zero: climate change plan 2018–2032 

Scotland's 2018-2032 Climate Change Plan was updated in December 2020. It sets out the Scottish Government's pathway to the country's new and ambitious targets set by the Climate Change Act 2019. It is a key strategic document on our green recovery from COVID-19.

Read more and download the strategy



Most are familiar with the target of net zero emissions by 2045 but less familiar with the interim target of 70% reductions by 2030, less than 10 years away. The 2020 target of a 56% reduction is only likely to be met because lockdown restrictions have constrained emissions temporarily notes the Committee on Climate Change

We are transitioning to a net-zero emissions Scotland for the benefit of our environment, our people, and our prosperity.

Scotland’s world-leading climate change legislation sets a target date for net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045. 

The Scottish Government is updating its Climate Change Plan to reflect the increased ambition of the new targets set in the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.  

Actions outlined include: 

Read more on the Scottish Government website

Scotland's carbon footprint: 1998 - 2017

Scotland's Chief Statistician published Scotland’s Carbon Footprint: 1998-2017. This publication provides estimates of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions on a consumption basis. (02.02.2021)

Read the publication


The Scottish Government announced that more than 100 new policies and proposals to support Scotland’s green recovery and help deliver a just transition to net zero in December 2020. They form part of the Climate Change Plan 2018 – 2032.

View the policies
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