SNP and Green ministers have been warned over a "huge climate blind spot” that means the Scottish Government’s key net zero policies currently ignore emissions from imports.

Campaigners are calling for a key piece of legislation to tackle emissions from goods made overseas and imported to Scotland by introducing consumption targets.

Currently, Scotland’s net zero strategy, which will end the country’s contribution to the climate crisis by 2045, has only set plans and targets for domestic emissions.

But calls have been made for the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Bill, which is due to be debated at Holyrood next month, to address the emissions from goods made overseas but consumed in Scotland.

Read more: SNP MSP: Lorna Slater has 'no clue' over circular economy costs

A circular economy is one in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible. The idea can benefit the environment, by cutting waste and carbon emissions and boost the economy by improving productivity and opening up new markets and providing local employment opportunities.

The Circular Economy Bill will give ministers powers to set statutory targets for delivery of a circular economy to measure progress in reducing waste and the nation’s carbon footprint.

If agreed by MSPs, such targets would be subject to further consultation based on an agreed monitoring and indicator framework.

The appeal comes as statistics show that Scotland’s consumption emissions have increased.

Scotland’s consumption emissions have increased from 2018 from 18 million tonnes to 30 million tonnes of carbon.

Read more: Scottish Government admits it has has 'fallen short' on waste targets

In 2019, Scotland’s official climate emissions were reported as 46 million tonnes but if the impacts of our imported goods are included, they were 64% higher, at 76 million tonnes of carbon.

Many countries have set legal targets to reduce their global consumption.

In 2021, the European Parliament voted to create targets to reduce its consumption footprint and in 2022, Sweden voted to introduce carbon consumption reduction targets. Most recently, Austria has set targets, promising to cut its consumption impacts to sustainable levels by 2050.

The Scottish Government has a policy of keeping pace with EU regulations.

Campaigners believe the introduction of consumption targets would work alongside the key climate targets to reduce the overall consumption of goods and lower Scotland’s overall impact on the planet.

Read more: Lorna Slater legislating 'by the back door' amid climate law fears

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s circular economy campaigner, Kim Pratt, said: “Scotland has a huge climate blind spot which needs to be addressed urgently.

“If we fail to look at our emissions from imports, policy decisions will continue to be made based on what reduces our domestic emissions rather than our overall impact. For a global challenge like the climate crisis, that makes no sense.

“Rather than buying more imported goods, the total amount of goods we buy, whether they are imported or not, must come down. This week’s ban on disposable vapes is an example of moving away from a throwaway economy, but we don’t have time to debate products one at a time.

“The new circular economy law is a fantastic opportunity for Scotland to take responsibility for its global impact and ensure that the products we buy last longer.

"By supporting reuse and repair organisations and focusing on public services over private, the Scottish Government can create a society that’s better for those of us who live here and reduces the harm our being caused by our consumption globally.”

Scottish Greens Circular Economy Minister, Lorna Slater, said: “We want to create a circular economy, in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible.

“This is not just good for the environment – it will also create new economic opportunities and green jobs here in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Bill will establish the legislative framework to support that, including giving ministers the powers to introduce statutory targets that would help achieve our goals.

“Our proposed restrictions on the destruction of unsold goods would also help tackle unnecessary waste.”