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The quality of the air around us is affected by pollutants released into the atmosphere through human activities, such as transport and industry, as well as from natural sources.
The way we live is causing this rapid change in our climate. The industries and processes we rely on are the main source of greenhouse-gas emissions, which are causing an increase in the Earth's temperature, and consequent alterations in weather patterns.
Scotland has some of the toughest energy targets in the world to meet our climate-change targets. Scotland accounts for around 10% of the UK's gross electricity consumption. Scottish renewable electricity generation made up approximately 32% of total UK renewable generation in 2013.
Scotland’s land is a fundamental asset. We grow food and timber on it; we build our houses and roads over it; much of our water filters through and is purified by it; it stores carbon; and it supports a range of habitats and species, some of which are internationally important.
Transport choices make a significant difference to global carbon emissions. Motor vehicles are the biggest cumulative CO2 emitters in the world, and it is estimated that around one-fifth of the vehicles on the road at 8.50am are involved in school run. There are also health implications of our transport choices.
Our freshwaters and seas are generally in good condition, and there have been significant reductions in pollution over the last 25 years. There are still problems resulting in the loss of habitat and wildlife (both current and historic) and from water pollution, predominantly from excessive amounts of nutrients entering the water.
A list of useful education resources to aid in the learning about the Scottish environment.
A list of useful environmental videos to aid in the learning about the Scottish environment.