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03 September 2019

Responding to the Scottish Government’s legislative programme for the coming year [1], Gina Hanrahan, Head of Policy at WWF Scotland said:

“It’s great to see climate take centre stage in today’s Programme for Government and the Scottish Government’s economic and social strategy. This Programme for Government shows real leadership on the climate emergency, with the kind of ambitious and serious actions needed in response to the climate crisis.  If carried through, these commitments will slash emissions and deliver benefits to people and the Scottish environment now and for years to come. At a time when all eyes are likely to turn to Scotland ahead of UN Climate talks in Glasgow, it’s vital we implement and build on these policies in the next Budget and Climate Plan.”  

Significant commitments in the Programme for Government include:

  • £3bn Green Investment Portfolio
  • £11bn of public procurement money behind the drive to tackle emissions
  • Vow to end polluting gas heating in new homes within five years, whilst supporting renewable alternatives
  • A  package of support for transport, including £500m funding for buses, new money for electric vehicles, a commitment to decarbonise the public sector fleet by 2025, and iconic commitments to decarbonise domestic flights by 2040 and rail by 2035.
  • Green city region deals
  • Decarbonisation as primary mission of Scottish National Investment Bank

Ms Hanrahan added:

“We look forward to seeing more detail of these proposals but it’s good to see some momentum in every sector of our economy, helping to reduce air pollution, improve health, create quality jobs and tackle emissions.

“People and nature are already feeling the terrible effects of climate change at home and abroad with the global phenomenon of climate strikes a stark sign of growing concern about the world’s failure to address climate breakdown. That’s why it’s great to see climate take centre stage in today’s Programme for Government.”

On climate/land use policy commitment Gina Hanrahan said:

“We welcome the clear recognition of the role land use can and must play in meeting the climate challenge, with a renewed commitment to regional land use partnerships and plans for all of Scotland, to greater financial support for tree planting and to an agricultural transformation programme.  Together, these can help ensure that Scotland’s land is used and managed in a way that both minimises greenhouse gas emissions and maximises the land’s contribution to the fight against climate change.  We now need the policies and specific actions to make these commitments a reality.”

On Environment Bill, Gina Hanrahan said:

“We are in a biodiversity crisis, with one in eleven species in Scotland at risk of extinction, and this is inextricably linked to the climate emergency.  In recent months, over 22,000 people have called for a dedicated Scottish Environment Act to protect and restore nature. Given the huge risks of no deal and continued uncertainty around Brexit, it’s even more vital that the Scottish Government brings forward legislation to ensure crucial existing environmental protections are not unravelled and to set out clear a clear, ambitious strategy to protect and restore Scotland’s nature.”

Notes to Editors

[1] Scottish Government Programme for Government