Climate Change Committee warned last month that 75% emissions reduction target was unachievable

The Chartered Institute for Housing in Scotland has said it is “disappointed” at the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) decision to ditch its 2030 climate target.

Yesterday the SNP announced that it was scrapping its flagship policy of cutting carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 and replacing its targets with a new system measuring emissions every five years.

It comes two years after the Climate Change Committee, which advises ministers on climate policy, warned that Scotland had lost its lead over the rest of the UK in bringing down emissions.

Nicola Sturgeon

The 2030 target was introduced in 2019 by former first minister Nicola Sturgeon

Ministers have missed eight of the last 12 annual targets and were told last month by the CCC that its 2030 target, introduced by former first minister Nicola Sturgeon in 2019, was unachievable.

The SNP had seen Scotland as a world leader on climate, its target being stricter than England’s, which is aiming to cut emissions by 68% by 2030.

The party still aims to make Scotland net zero by 2045, five years earlier than England’s target to achieve zero emissions by 2050.

CIH Scotland policy and practice manager Ashley Campbell said “It’s disappointing to hear that the Scottish Government has decided to drop the interim net-zero target which would have seen carbon emissions cut by 75 per cent by 2030. 

“The recent report from the Climate Change Committee clearly showed that Scotland was not on track to meet the 2030 target, and this makes it even more important for the Scottish Government to take decisive action to ensure we can still meet net-zero by 2045.”

Campbell also criticised the lack of support for the housing sector in the SNP’s statement. The target had been backed with a policy to ban all fossil fuel heating in homes by 2045 under the Heat in Buildings Bill.

“It remains essential that the Scottish government sets a clear direction for energy efficiency and decarbonisation across tenures through the Heat in Buildings Bill,” Campbell said.

“We also need to see stronger financial commitment from the Scottish Government to ensure that social and private landlords, and homeowners can make the investment needed in homes across Scotland without increasing the risk of poverty. 

“This also needs to be underpinned with accessible advice, information, and support to ensure that people can make informed decisions about upgrading their homes.

“It may be too late to meet the 2030 target, but we must not lose sight of the target to meet net-zero by 2045.”