Scotland has committed to becoming a net-zero emissions society by 2045, after the Climate Change Bill passed its final stage in Holyrood yesterday.
MSPs passed the bill by 113 votes to nil, also imposing a duty on ministers to report each year on progress to tackle climate change in every sector.
The bill commits Scotland to a target of net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045. This is tougher than a net-zero carbon target, which commits only to balancing carbon dioxide emissions.
The Scottish Government has adopted an ambitious interim target to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030, and is currently consulting on plans for public sector bodies to set a date for zero emissions, under which buildings, estates and entire operations would cease to generate any emissions.
A Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change will be created to make recommendations to ministers on how the net-zero transition should be achieved.
Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham commented: "Our new Climate Change Bill demonstrates what international leadership on climate action means. Not only are we setting legally binding targets to reduce emissions to net-zero in direct response to the Paris Agreement, we are also putting in place the most stringent framework of statutory targets of any country in the world.
"We have already almost halved emissions since 1990. The second half of Scotland’s journey to net-zero emissions will, undoubtedly, require different, and in many cases much more difficult, choices than has been the case to date but it is clear people across Scotland want to see action."
She added: "Our end target is firmly based on what we are told is the limit of what can currently be achieved. It is the maximum possible ambition based upon the best available science and requires the UK to take action to meet their targets if Scotland is to meet ours. In the interim, while there is some uncertainty over the precise route that can be taken, we believe it is right to be as ambitious as possible to drive the action required to make the changes we need."