Scottish Executive accused of fixing low carbon cutting targets

The Herald reports that the Scottish Executive deliberately fixed an unambitious target for cutting "climate-wrecking pollution" so that the target would be easy to meet and the success would make a "good news story".

Internal documents obtained by the Sunday Herald reveal officials advised the previous administration to play safe by aiming low.

An official from the Department of Environment and Rural Affairs wrote in an internal memo: "The Scottish Share gives us a solid theoretical foundation and we know we can set a target that exceeds this level, meet it and therefore have a good news story. If we set a more ambitious target (either at national or sectoral level) we risk turning a good news story into a bad one."

The revelation has prompted environmentalists to attack the climate target as "an accountant's trick". Officials, however, have defended the target as "realistic and ambitious".

Carbon-cutting targets set deliberately low (The Herald, 11 August 2007)