Responding to the Climate Change Committee report that questioned the ability of the Scottish Government to achieve its ambitious climate change targets, net zero secretary Mairi McAllan said: “I am grateful for the latest advice from the Climate Change Committee 2023 report.

“The Climate Change Committee have always been clear that meeting the legislated 2030 target – agreed by Parliament on a cross party basis - will be extremely challenging, and may not be feasible.

“We remain fully committed to meeting our target of net zero emissions by 2045, and in 2024-25 alone we are committing £4.7 billion to support the delivery of our climate change goals.

“Scotland is already half way to net zero and continues to decarbonise faster than the UK average. In the last five years we have created around 75% of all new woodlands throughout the UK in Scotland, launched the world’s largest floating offshore wind leasing round through Scotwind, ensured Scotland has the most generous concessionary scheme in the UK with more than a third of the population benefitting from free bus travel and invested over £65 million to support the installation of over 2700 public EV charge points.

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“However, we are under no illusion that the hardest part of this journey is ahead of us which is why our ambitious proposals for delivery include publishing a final route map setting out our approach to reducing car kilometres by 20% by 2030 and decarbonising buildings through our plans for a Heat in Buildings Bill. These underline our commitment to further reduce emissions whilst ensuring fairer, greener transport and homes as well as high quality green jobs.

“However, over the past 12 months Scotland has faced a series of unprecedented changes by the UK Government, who have reneged on their net zero commitments, and rolled back on policies already announced and accounted for.

We are also expecting a real-terms cut to our UK capital funding of almost 10% over five years, totalling around £1.3 billion, which is deeply concerning given it has implications for the delivery of climate ambition in Scotland and our ability to produce a draft Climate Change Plan as intended.

We have also faced opposition to modest measures in tackling the crisis, such as low emission zones, workplace parking and the deposit return scheme at a time when consensus is crucial to ensure that we have a sustainable planet.

“We will now carefully consider the report’s recommendations and our next steps – including legislative options - before providing a formal response.”