It is said that the package will see Scotland invest in natural and technological solutions to help combat the climate crisis. It will see around £1.6bn spent directly to support around 5,000 jobs as well as tackling fuel poverty as part of an enhanced Green New Deal.
Scotland is set to update its Climate Change Plan by the end of the year. The new spending will see an additional £500m spent on nature-based solutions in the country, including £150m to increase woodland creation by 50% by 2024 and another £150m on flood risk management.
“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”, stated the Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham.
The funding will help decrease carbon emissions across heat and energy use in buildings and is responsible for around 25% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Last September, Scottish MSPs voted 113 to 0 to back the introduction of a new Climate Bill, committing the nation to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045, which is five years ahead of the UK net-zero target.
The 2045 target was set following the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) recommendations for ensuring that the UK plays its part in ensuring that the global average temperature increase is limited to 1.5°C. However, the CCC (CCC) has urged Scottish Ministers to “begin work immediately” on implementing short-term net-zero legislation.
Commenting on the financing commitment, WWF Scotland’s Head of Policy, Fabrice Leveque, said: “It’s good to see the Scottish Government is prioritising a green economic recovery, with investment to cut emissions from heating and transport, move forward on tree planting and provide help for low-carbon businesses and skills. As well as new green jobs, these investments will help protect Scotland’s unique environment and give the people of Scotland warmer homes, cleaner air and encourage healthier lifestyles.”
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