Energy efficiency of buildings, green jobs and heating part of climate change battle in new Scottish Budget

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The Scottish Government has announced to invest £1.9 billion towards tackling climate change and creating green jobs in the new 2021/22 budget.

Delivery of a £1.6 billion investment to transform heat and energy efficiency of buildings is announced to get under way, directly supporting up to 5,000 jobs and tackling fuel poverty while rapidly accelerating the decarbonisation of an area which makes up a quarter of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment and Climate Change Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, commented on the announcement: “This is a Budget which rightly focuses on tackling the COVID-19 crisis and supporting our people, health service and economy in the immediate term, but it also lays the foundations to rebuild a fairer, stronger, and greener Scotland.

“Our commitment to tackling the twin crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss is unwavering and this cross-government investment ensures we support the transformational change required to become net-zero by 2045 – doing so in a way that protects our environment, creates good, green jobs and ensures no-one is left behind.

“Our commitment to ensuring Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19 is green has been prioritised despite the significant financial challenges of COVID-19, delays to the UK Budget, the UK Government Spending Review worsening our capital position and key powers remaining reserved to Westminster.

“2021 is a vital year for climate action and COP26 in Glasgow puts Scotland at the centre of a global to protect our people and planet.

“This Budget enhances Scotland’s role as an international climate leader, backing up the world’s toughest climate target framework with on-the-ground delivery.”

Other highlights of the budget include delivering the first wave of the £2 billion Low Carbon Fund, including £14 million for the Green Jobs Fund.

The heat in buildings budget is set to increase by £30 million to £213.4 million, while spending in forestry has been increased by £26.9 million to £121.2 million.

Further investment seeks to support the delivery of major, multi-year commitments, including:

  • a £250 million peatland restoration programme
  • £120 million for zero-emission buses
  • over £500 million for Active Travel
  • £70 million to improve waste and recycling infrastructure
  • over £500 million for bus priority infrastructure.

To ‘ensure Scotland realises the full benefits of COP26 in Glasgow’, £8 million will be targeted towards accelerating climate goals both domestically and globally, and developing Scotland’s international influence whilst attracting green investment and innovation.

An ongoing commitment to support countries most affected by the climate emergency will be met with £3 million for international climate justice.

The Scottish Budget 2021-2022 is available from the Scottish Government website.