A re-elected Scottish National Party (SNP) Government would increase Scotland’s carbon emissions reduction target to more than 50 per cent by 2020.

Aileen McLeod, the Minister for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform, said the latest evidence showed that Scotland was track to exceed its current 42 per cent target.

“Given the increasing impact of climate change both here in Scotland and around the world, it is crucial that we continue to lead by example. So, a re-elected SNP Government will go further, increasing our target to more than 50 per cent reduction by 2020,” she said, McLeod said that tackling climate change “remains one of the defining global issues of our times.

“Last year’s UN climate summit in Paris sent the clear message that all countries need to further increase their ambition and action on cutting emissions.

“I was struck by many comments made at those talks about the good example Scotland was setting. It has not always been easy, but Scotland has been a genuine world leader in the area of climate change and green energy.

New target ‘powerfully iconic’

The Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, Richard Dixon, said that the new 50 per cent target will be “powerfully iconic” and will send a “strong signal to others to up their game.”

“In the coming week world leaders will sign the climate deal agreed in Paris in December. The Paris deal has yet to make any real difference to national plans on climate change so Scotland aiming for 50 per cent plus by 2020 sends a strong signal to others,” he said.

McLeod said she hoped other parties would back the move and “work constructively to ensure Scotland continues to lead on this great global challenge”.

> Read the announcement