GREEN campaigners have accused the Scottish Government of “flawed thinking” and “unjustified optimism” over their plan to cut emissions.

Friends of the Earth Scotland said there is a “real risk” Scotland’s climate strategy will not deliver the reduction in emissions needed to achieve net zero by 2045.

The updated climate change plan, published in December, sets out what the Scottish Government insists are “bold actions” aimed at helping meet emissions reduction targets in the period to 2032. The document stresses it “will not be easy” and will require a “truly national endeavour with business, communities and individuals contributing fully” if targets are to be met.

The plan aims to cut the distance travelled in car journeys by a fifth by 2030 and promises £180 million in funding for carbon capture and hydrogen technologies as well as £120m towards zero-emission buses.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham is due to face questions from MSPs on the plan when Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee meets on Tuesday.

However Chris Stark, chief executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change, an independent advisory body, said there was “nothing in the report” to indicate whether the policies were sufficient.

Rachel Howell, a lecturer in sociology and sustainable development at the University of Edinburgh, said there was “concern about the fact that the plans and policies for reducing emissions through other technologies and through behaviour change do not meet the necessary targets”.

Jess Cowell of Friends of the Earth added: “There is a real risk that Scotland is setting out with a climate plan that cannot get us where we need to be.

“The Government either doesn’t know or won’t say how much climate pollution will be stopped by their individual policies, instead offering vague estimates for entire sectors.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson insisted the plan sets out a “credible path to meeting Scotland’s targets”.

She said: “We are proud to have the most ambitious legal framework for emissions reduction in the world. Our updated climate change plan has over 100 new policies to meet Scotland’s emissions targets over the period to 2032 and help achieve a just transition to net zero by 2045.

“This is supported by a record £1.9 billion of capital funding in the Scottish Budget 2021-22.”