As the world’s attention is drawn to the shifting landscape of governmental efforts to combat climate change, the Scottish Parliament has proposed a new Climate Change Plan which sets a goal of reducing emissions by 66% by 2032. This new plan, an update of the country’s, then forerunning, 2009 plan following the country’s successful execution of its 42% reduction target, already met in 2014. Furthermore, the new plan also establishes a target of generating the equivalent of 100% of the country’s gross annual electricity consumption by renewable means by the year 2020—an escalation of the country’s previous target of 50% renewable energy, which it already achieved in 2015—and improving energy conservation by 12% by 2020.

As a leader in the fight to reduce the impacts of global climate change, the Scottish government’s approach to realizing such ambitious goals stands to serve as a source of best practices for other countries in their efforts to achieve such reductions. Among the country’s varied selection approaches are the roughly €2.3 billion in investments made between 2013 and 2016 in energy conservation, dedicated partnerships, and a commitment to ensuring that sustainability efforts are not detrimental to the private sector’s competitive ability.

Scotland’s continued resolve, along with China’s commitment to taking a position of global leadership in driving sustainable development and renewable energy, are a welcome sign of progress in light of the uncertainty surrounding the United States’ climate agenda.

Read Scotland’s proposal 

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