Nearly £1.6 billion to directly support up to 5,000 jobs and tackle fuel poverty is at the heart of plans to drive Scotland’s green recovery.
Part of an enhanced Green New Deal, the investment will transform heat and energy efficiency of buildings and rapidly accelerate 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: “The coronavirus pandemic has been an unprecedented global crisis which has fundamentally changed every aspect of our lives.
“How we work, how we travel, how we use our land and other natural assets will all need to be re-imagined in order to build Scotland’s recovery and shape our future.
“This year’s Programme for Government makes clear that our commitment to tackling the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss is unwavering.
“Indeed, they are central to our recovery.
“We will ensure our recovery is one that creates good quality, green jobs and ensures a fair and just transition to net-zero, leaving no-one behind.
“The natural economy is a vital asset in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, responding to climate change, ending biodiversity loss and creating the new, green employment opportunities of the future.
“It is central to our Programme for Government and to our green recovery plans.
“In planning our green recovery, we have sought and implemented expert advice at every turn, and will continue to do so as we work towards updating our Climate Change Plan by the end of the year.”
An additional £500 million is being invested in Scotland’s natural economy including £150 million to help deliver a 50% increase in woodland creation by 2024 and an extra £150 million for flood risk management, vital to increasing climate change resilience.
The plans, outlined in the Programme for Government 2020/21, are among a range of measures to protect biodiversity, create green jobs and accelerate a just transition to net-zero.
Other commitments include:
- £100 million Green Job Fund
- £60 million to help industrial and manufacturing sectors decarbonise, grow and diversify
- boosting youth employment opportunities in nature and land-based jobs by expanding apprenticeship and undergraduate schemes in public agencies, including Scottish Forestry, Forestry and Land Scotland and NatureScot
- £70 million to improve refuse collection infrastructure and develop a new route map to reduce waste and improve recycling as part of plans to drive a thriving circular economy