Scotland

Record cut in Scotland's carbon emissions

stirling wind turbine Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The amount of carbon dioxide displaced by green energy in 2013 was up 14% on 2012

Carbon emissions were cut by a record 12 million tonnes in Scotland last year thanks to the renewable electricity industry.

UK government figures showed 11.9 million tonnes of CO2 was displaced in 2013, up 14% on the previous year.

The Committee on Climate Change, which advises the UK government, said Scotland was making good progress.

Industry body Scottish Renewables described the figures as a "milestone achievement."

Joss Blamire, a senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, added: "This means that not only are renewables now the number one source of electricity in Scotland, but we have achieved this milestone while preventing a record amount of harmful carbon emissions from being released into our atmosphere.

"Renewable energy in Scotland is doing exactly what it was designed to do - creating jobs, securing our energy supplies and, most importantly, reducing our carbon emissions to help limit climate change."

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said the results were "fantastic news".

'Leading the way'

Speaking from the UN's climate change conference in Lima, Peru, Mr Banks added: "That renewables in Scotland are now helping to displace almost a million tonnes of climate pollution every month is proof that a renewable power sector is the foundation of a truly low carbon economy - keeping the lights on, creating jobs and cutting emissions."

Environment and Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod said Scotland was "leading the way" in the transition to a low carbon economy.

She added: "It is clear that renewables projects have vast potential to contribute to this positive trend and with our significant renewable energy potential, Scotland continues to make good progress towards our target of generating the equivalent of 100% of domestic electricity demand from renewable sources.

"Whilst in Lima this week I have been challenging the international community to ensure the new global treaty on climate change that will be signed next year matches Scotland's high ambition.

"Our world-leading greenhouse gas emission reduction targets are in line with what climate science tells us we have to do as part of an ambitious international treaty to limit global warming to 2C."

Different figures released last month showed renewables had overtaken nuclear to become the main source of electricity in Scotland for the first time.

Wind and hydro power produced 10.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in the first six months of this year, UK government statistics showed.

Nuclear power stations generated 7.8TWh over the same period, with 5.6TWh of electricity coming from coal-fired power stations and a further 1.4TWh from gas-fired stations.

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