January 19, 2021
CCP – update on the update
Just before Christmas, Scottish Government finally published the ‘update’ of its Climate Change Plan. This is important for a host of reasons – not least because it is the most accurate up to date measure of Scottish Government’s ambition to tackle the climate emergency at a time, with COP26 coming to Glasgow, when Scotland will be in the climate spotlight as never before. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland has drilled into the detail of the Plan and highlighted the areas of greatest weakness. There are some real strengths too.
Climate Change Plan update – overview
- Recommitment to targets – reaching net zero by 2045 and reducing emissions by 75% by 2030.
- The plan appears to get close to reaching the 2030 target, but there is uncertainty over the data and how it will be achieved
- More plans and strategies need to be developed and these will need to be monitored
- There are some welcome and positive measures, but some areas that lack detail and ambition and are cause for concern
- Technologies that are currently unproven, such as carbon capture and storage, still feature too heavily in the plan
- The concept of Just Transition is fully acknowledged but there is no commitment to a plan or updated strategy and it is unclear how it will be delivered Climate Change Plan update – agriculture, land use and marine
Climate Change Plan update – agriculture, land use and marine
- Lack of ambition in agriculture, with smaller fall in emissions projected compared with other sectors and few firm commitments to action
- New policy proposal to introduce environmental conditionality in the agriculture sector is potentially welcome but lacks detail, especially in relation to its climate impact
- No new targets for woodland creation
- No commitment to end the burning of peatland or ban the use of peat in horticulture
- Issue of deer management not addressed, despite its carbon saving potential
- Commitment to further research on marine but no policy proposals to help protect and enhance seas as a crucial carbon store Climate Change Plan update – buildings and electricity
Climate Change Plan update – buildings and electricity
- The long-term objectives of the “Heat in Buildings Strategy” are very welcome and the measures to deliver are fairly comprehensive, especially the proposals regarding building standards and regulations.
- Proposal to introduce “regulations for all buildings to achieve a good level of energy efficiency” is welcome
- No commitment to phase out high carbon heating like oil and LPG in off-gas areas by 2025 or to set a date for the phase-out of replacement gas boilers in existing homes, but much welcome discussion of the need to do so, of alternatives and proposals to provide financial incentives to the alternatives.
- Proposed investment of £1.6 billion in heat and energy efficiency over the next Parliament is welcome
- Overall, the policies and proposals for the further development of renewable energy and the decarbonisation of Scotland’s electricity production/distribution are generally welcome Climate Change Plan update – transport
Climate Change Plan update – transport
- There is no commitment to stop building new trunk roads or motorways.
- A new target to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030 is very welcome, forward thinking and not being done in the rest of the UK. A roadmap of how Government plans to make this happen will be produced in 2021.
- Only 3% of the transport budget will be for active travel – well short of the 10% we called for.
- The new £50 million for ‘Active Freeways’ is a potentially welcome initiative. This is said to ‘involve identification and design development of the strategic active travel network, to provide segregated active travel routes on main travel corridors to city and town centres and major trip attractors linking communities throughout Scotland’.
- No specific mention/policy of achieving zero emission zones in each city
- No real action on aviation, we called for the introduction of a Frequent Flyer Levy Climate Change Plan update – waste
Climate Change Plan update – waste
- Commitment to look at how to make incinerators less damaging, rather than banning new ones
- Investment to deliver recycling targets falls short of what is needed and compares poorly to investment in Wales
- No commitment to which single use plastics could be banned or promotion of alternatives
- No commitment to building a circular economy