Scotland exceeds carbon emissions targets six years early
Scotland has exceeded an ambitious carbon reductions target — 42 percent fewer emissions by 2020 — six years early.
Newly released Scottish Government figures show that emissions fell almost 46 percent between 1990 and 2014. In contrast, emissions for the whole of the UK fell just 33 percent in the same interval.
However, some environmentalists were quick to stress that the loss of heavy industry and warmer winters were major factors in reducing energy use, rather than government policy.
Scotland’s Climate Change Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “The reduction in residential emissions in 2014 may have been due to people turning down their heating. This underlines that small individual actions, if repeated on a large scale, can have a big impact in tackling climate change.
Cunningham also confirmed that the government would now set a more rigorous benchmark for 2020 alongside its 80 percent reduction by 2050 target.
“This is an especially important time for climate change, in light of the international agreement reached in Paris last December and it is great news that Scotland continues to show ambition and demonstrate the progress that can be made,” she said.
Scottish Labour MSP Claudia Beamish urged the country not to get complacent in the face of the good news. She advocates a target of 56 percent reduction in emissions by 2020 and wants to generate 50 percent of heat and transport demand using renewables by 2030.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.