In the week that the UK Government has finally published its Energy White Paper, it is great to see the Scottish Government moving ahead with its own “Update to the Climate Change Plan 2018 – 2032”. This update sets out, and reconfirms Scotland’s ambition to lead the race to achieve net zero by 2045 and to align this with a green recovery programme focusing on investment in Scottish jobs, innovation and infrastructure.

It’s big and it’s bold, and exactly the sort of ambition needed to help galvanise world leaders to action from the host of next year’s COP 26 in Glasgow.

There is a lot in the plan, which covers everything from the natural environment to energy and industrial policy. Some of the energy highlights we have picked out include:

  • A commitment to reduce carbon emission by 75% compared to 1990 levels (the equivalent UK target announced this week is a 68% reduction)
  • A re-statement of the 2017 commitment that 50% of all energy will be from renewable sources by 2030
  • £180 million for an Emerging Energy Technologies Fund, supporting the development of hydrogen and providing impetus to the development of Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs)
  • £120 million for Zero Emission Buses, driving forward a fully decarbonised future for Scotland’s bus fleet and support the Scottish supply chain
  • £50 million to create Active Freeways, providing a sustainable link between our towns, cities and some of our most beloved national landmarks
  • Scotland’s rail services to be decarbonised by 2035
  • Offshore Wind Policy Statement published in October which supports the development of between 8 and 11 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030
  • New Build Zero Emissions from Heat standard will be introduced from 2024, by which point all new builds will have to have zero emissions heating systems
  • A £1.6 billion Heat in Building fund and a plan to double the installation of low carbon heating with a plan that by 2030, 50% of Scotland’s building stock will be heated by low carbon solutions
  • Commitment to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030, and to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030
  • A series of new funds for industry and innovations including; a £180 million Emerging Energy Technologies Fund, a £5 million Carbon Capture and Utilisation Challenge Fund, a £34 million Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and a £26 million Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund that will support innovation in low carbon technology, processes and infrastructure.

We are looking forward to working with the Scottish Government, the renewables sector and many organisations in Scotland to help make these plans a reality.

Scottish Climate Plan Update Map

Image: Update to the Climate Change Plan, Scottish Government, 2020


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