SCOTTISH ministers say they’re disappointed to have missed their annual climate emissions target.

Figures published yesterday showed that while total emissions fell by 3.3% in 2017, the country’s participation in an EU scheme that allows power stations and industrial plants to effectively “trade” their greenhouse gases, meant that adjusted emissions – those that are used for setting targets – increased by 3.7%.

That means Scotland has reduced its emissions by 39.1% since 1990, but “source emissions”, which doesn’t include the horse-trading of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), are down 46.8%.

The most recent fall was attributed to the closure of Longannet power station in 2016, as well as a decrease in the use of fossil fuels in the chemical industry.

However, emissions from transport like road traffic and aviation actually increased.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Actual emissions, which are what really matters for tackling climate change, reduced by 3.3% between 2016 and 2017.

“That is encouraging progress, particularly given the statistics cover a period prior to the current climate change plan and do not reflect many of the initiatives that have launched or embedded that in the last two years.

“However, it is of course disappointing that the 2017 target has not been met, and that greenhouse gas emissions appear to have increased because of the technical adjustment made to the figures relating to the EU Emissions Trading System.

“Scotland already has the most ambitious agenda in the UK for decarbonising transport, including our commitment to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars by 2032.

“We have doubled our active travel budget, encouraging more people to walk and cycle, while Low Emissions Zones will be in place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen by the end of 2020.”

Caroline Rance from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) said the Government needed to do more.

“Scientists have told us that we need to move faster, and in April the First Minister declared a climate emergency. This means acting with even greater urgency to cut emissions now and over the next decade.

“MSPs must ensure that the new Climate Change Bill, which they will be voting on in Parliament next week, includes tougher climate targets and strong policies to slash emissions.

“Action is especially needed in transport, which remains Scotland’s largest emitter, in how we heat our homes and how we grow our food. Changes in these sectors will also improve health, reduce pollution and tackle fuel poverty.”

Green MSP Mark Ruskell said ministers had “much work to do.”

“A climate emergency has been declared and the First Minister has said that everything is up for review, but we need this review to be brought forward as soon as possible so that urgent action is taken to transition to a low-carbon economy, particularly in transport, where emissions continue to increase.”