A Study of Scotland's Emission and Energy Targets
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This dissertation assesses the keys drivers that led to the choice of Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets and the feasibility of meeting them. It also assesses the social, economic or environmental implications of meeting and missing the targets and the degree to which they assist the actual achievement of carbon reduction and wider economic and social objectives. Finally it discusses what is the most appropriate level – international, national or regional - to set Climate Change targets and legislation. It finds that in this instance political ambition to pass world leading legislation, supported by the promise of economic opportunity and broad public support were the key drivers. It also finds that despite that fact all are technically and technologically achievable, the wide range of barriers and carbon abatement uncertainty of certain policy measures makes meeting all but renewable heat target fairly remote. It was also discussed that although meeting Scotland’s emissions targets would have a negligible if any effect on global emissions, they have a much greater importance at local level in the form of economic and social benefits The final section concluded that climate policy is important at all governance levels and that the Scottish targets have value both as part of the UK system and in their own right. Whilst the barriers presented by not having all policy levers available at a Scottish level, climate policy and energy policy must function as part of an international system and further devolution of powers to Scotland is not the answer to meeting Scotland’s ambitions.