Urgent action is needed to reduce transport, housing and agriculture emissions if ambitious new climate targets are to be met, according to a new report.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said that while Scotland was leading the UK in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fresh, clear priorities and policies were required.
SNP ministers have committed to introducing a new Climate Change Act, with the aim of reducing emissions by more than 50% by 2020.
The CCC report confirmed that Scotland met its annual target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the first time in 2014 with a fall of 13% year-on-year to 41.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Scotland also performed better than the UK as a whole, with gross Scottish emissions dropping nearly 40% since 1990, compared to nearly 33% at a UK level.
The committee praised progress made in renewable electricity generation and community energy projects.
But it warned that the drop in emissions was mostly due to reduced coal and expanded renewable generation, with “little progress” in reducing emissions from transport, agriculture and land use and slow uptake of renewable heat.
The report said: “Transport and agriculture will be the largest emitting sectors once power sector emissions fall rapidly in 2016, and current schemes are largely failing to deliver.
“There must be strong, credible policies for emission reductions in these sectors.”
Transport emissions, excluding international aviation and shipping, have remained largely unchanged from 1990 with improved vehicle efficiency offset by increased demand for travel.
The CCC said the Government should use devolved powers to roll-out new policies to reduce emissions from HGVs such as driver training and a shift to rail.
The committee also recommended measures to promote efficient driving and encourage uptake of electric vehicles, and called for ministers to produce an aviation strategy which is “in line with climate obligations and International Civil Aviation Organisation agreements”.
The CCC highlighted that 8% fewer hectares of new trees were planted in 2014 compared to 2013 and annual planting targets have yet to be met.
It recommended a stronger policy framework for reducing agriculture emissions, including compulsory soil testing aimed at reducing fertiliser use, as well as raising awareness of agroforestry.
The report also warns that the vote for the UK to leave the EU could have an impact on how Scottish targets are met.
CCC chairman Lord Deben said: “New policies are now required for Scotland to continue its commendable path to decarbonising its economy.”
Responding to the report, Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “The forthcoming climate action plan and proposed new Scottish Climate Act are huge opportunities for all parties in the Scottish Parliament to show willing, work together and present a fresh plan with a clear timetable for all sectors to play their part.
“This must include transport, where our emissions remain stalled at 1990 levels and housing, where emissions have reduced only 3% since 2009.
“This is the time for bold action to secure the many, many benefits Scotland could enjoy if it commits to a zero-carbon future.”
Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “The committee recognises our good progress towards greening our energy supply and excellent progress in enhancing community and local ownership of renewables.
“In the coming year, the Scottish Government will publish a new Energy Strategy that will reaffirm our commitment to reducing energy demand and supplying clean energy.
“The committee also acknowledges that we have delivered our commitment to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority and we will support that with more than £500 million of public funding over the next four years, helping to deliver warmer homes and combat fuel poverty.
“We acknowledge that more needs to be done to meet our ambitious future targets. A new Climate Change Plan, to be published in draft this winter, will build on our strong progress to date, setting out our priorities and commitments to meet our ambitious emissions reduction targets over the coming decades.”