SCOTLAND must make “bold” changes to its transport, farming and other sectors if it is to meet its ambitious targets of reach zero net carbon by 2045.

That is the conclusion of a broadly supportive analysis of the SNP’s green drive by Britain’s climate change watchdog.

Scots remain addicted to planet-destroying fossil-fuel-burning cars, with emissions for surface transport up again for the fourth consecutive year.

And our agriculture has barely dented the amount of greenhouse gas it pumps in to the atmosphere.

The Committee for Climate Change, the independent body which advises UK governments, central and devolved, said decisions made both at Holyrood and Westminster over the next year will determined whether Scotland hits its targets.

Its chief executive, Chris Stark, suggested the country had made good progress switching to renewable sources of electricity.

But he said: “This marks the end of one chapter of the story, the closure of coal. What lies ahead is the more difficult challenge of cutting emissions in the other sectors of the Scottish economy.

“The Scottish Government will have to be bold.”

Scotland will host the next world congress on carbon change, COP26 in Glasgow next November. So national and city leaders are very eager to demonstrate progress.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made it clear she regarded what she called a “welcome” report from Mr Stark and his team as constructive criticism.

She tweeted: “It focusses us firmly on the challenges ahead as we work to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change by reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.”

The CCC said: “Next year, Glasgow will host the most important global climate summit since COP21 in Paris in 2015. These crucial talks offer a major opportunity to increase global ambition and effort to cut emissions.

“The UK’s credibility as COP26 President – and Scotland’s, as hosts – now rests on real action at home.”

Progress has slowed. Emissions, the CCC said, reduced by 3 per cent in 2017, compared with a 10% fall in 2016.

It added: “The fall was again led by the power sector, due in large part to Scotland’s first full year of coal-free electricity generation.

“Recent performance in other sectors shows only incremental improvement at best and, unless emissions reductions are delivered economy-wide, Scotland is at risk of missing its new interim target of a 56% reduction in emissions by 2020.

“Scotland’s Programme for Government 2019-20, alongside other recent policies, shows that the Scottish Government is taking its more ambitious Net Zero emissions targets seriously. However, a step change in ambition is needed, requiring a much steeper reduction in emissions than was required to meet the previous, less stringent target.”

Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said: “Scotland has set an ambitious world-leading Net Zero target of 2045. Now Scotland needs to walk the talk.

“The new legally-binding target for 2030 – a 75% reduction in emissions compared to 1990 – is extremely stretching and demands new policies that begin to work immediately.”

He added: “Scotland has outperformed the rest of the UK in cleaning up its economy, resting on the rapid closure of coal. As this chapter closes, the Scottish story must change.

“But so far, we haven’t seen the same progress in other sectors. With the right policies and the committed support of Westminster, Scotland can lead the way in ending the UK’s contribution to global warming for good.”

The CCC was particularly critical of farming, saying Scotland’s plans were lagging behind those in England and Wales.

Emissions from agriculture have fallen by just 2% since 2008.

Ruth Taylor of the National Farmers Union said providing good and reducing emissions was an “enormous global challenge”. But farmers are key to a solution.

She said: “It is clear that there will be no successful climate change process without the involvement and contribution of the agriculture sector. “ Crucially farmers also could help sequester carbon too, she added.

Surface transport emissions rose 3% in 2017, and have increased by 8% since 2012, the CCC said.

When including aviation and shipping, transport is the highest emitting sector in Scotland, at 37% of the total. Scotland is starting to switch to electric vehicles but not quickly.