Scottish Budget announces £1.8 billion investment in low carbon infrastructure

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ENDING Scotland’s contribution to climate change, peatland restoration and low-carbon infrastructure are at the heart of the Scottish Government’s tax and spending plans for the year ahead.

Setting out the Scottish Budget 2020-21, Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes announced a package of funding to accelerate Scotland’s transition to a net-zero economy, including £1.8 billion of investment in low carbon infrastructure which will help reduce emissions.

Ms Forbes commented on the budget: “The global climate emergency is at the centre of our Programme for Government and we have already put in place the most ambitious climate legislation and targets of any country.

“This Budget will help deliver on that wold-leading ambition.

“From increased investment in low carbon transport to funding for peatland restoration and forestry, this Budget sets out our spending plans to help us deliver the transformation we need across society to transition to net-zero.

“I urge the Parliament to work constructively with us to pass this Budget in the national interest.”

The Scottish Budget 2020-21 also proposes:

  • £220 million of seed funding for the Scottish National Investment Bank to support its mission to drive the transition to a net-zero economy
  • increased investment of £270 million in rail services and an additional £16 million in concessionary travel and bus services, taking total investment in rail and bus services to around £1.55 billion
  • increased investment of £5.5 million in active travel
  • £20 million for peatland restoration with a commitment to invest more than £250 million over 10 years
  • Investment of more than £64 million to support the commitment to plant 12,000 hectares of forestry, with the aim to reach 15,000 hectares by the mid-2020s
  • a new £120 million Heat Transition Deal and a total investment of £151 million in energy efficiency
  • £40 million for an Agricultural Transformation Programme