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Scotland meets climate goals early

Government brags that it beat its British counterparts to the punch.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Scotland meets climate goals early
Scottish government data show its beat it's goal for a reduction in emissions several years ahead of schedule. File photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

EDINBURGH, Scotland, June 14 (UPI) -- The Scottish government said Tuesday it's reduced its greenhouse gas emissions to the point that it met its goals for 2020 years ahead of schedule.

"Scotland is making outstanding progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said in a statement.

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Data published by the Scottish government show total emissions are down 12.5 percent year-on-year and are 45.8 percent below a baseline level based on 1990 emissions. Scotland is besting the British rate of decline by 6.5 percent.

"These statistics show that we not only met the annual 2014 emissions reduction target but also exceeded the level of our world-leading 2020 target for a 42 percent reduction, six years ahead of schedule," the secretary said.

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Scotland pegged its future during a 2014 bid for independence on revenue from oil and gas reserves in the North Sea. Had it passed, an independent Scotland would've drawn on revenue from the oil and gas sector to fuel the economy while generating electricity from renewable resources.

Lower crude oil prices may be pressuring some economies. Scotland does not count oil and gas exports in its economic data, though gross domestic product grew only 0.1 percent during the third quarter of 2015.

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A report from the World Bank, meanwhile, finds that while investments in oil and gas are down, capital flowing toward renewables is at record highs. The Scottish climate secretary said that, when it comes to advancing low-carbon alternatives, more progress can be made. New goals for 2020, she added, are imminent.

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"We are not complacent and we will continue to take action and encourage others to do their bit to tackle climate change," she said.

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