SNP Manifesto 2021: What we’re doing for the environment

Climate change and the biodiversity crisis are a reality that we must face now. Even in the midst of the pandemic the climate emergency remains a pressing crisis.

Scotland will end its contribution to climate change by 2045. And we must do it in a way that is just and fair, and no one should be left behind.

Make it Both Votes SNP to:

Increase progress toward becoming a Net Zero nation

Scotland is leading the world on tackling the twin crises of climate change and ecological decline.

We are proud to have the most ambitious legal framework for emissions reduction in the world, but there is no doubt that these targets are immensely challenging. We know they will require transformational actions.

We will invest record amounts in tackling the climate crisis and our updated Climate Change Plan, published last year, contains over 100 new policies, endorsed by Parliament, putting Scotland on the right path to meet its emissions reduction targets over the period to 2032 and to achieve a just transition to net zero by 2045.

Demonstrate our climate leadership on the global stage

We will use Scotland’s role at COP26 – and our role as European co-chair of the Under 2 coalition – to help secure a Glasgow Agreement that sees all countries commit to taking the action needed to tackle the climate crisis.

If re-elected, the First Minister will appoint Environmental Champions, experts from around the world, to advise the government on international best practice and keep us at the forefront of tackling the climate emergency and ecological decline. We will ask the Environmental Champions to report at COP 26 to demonstrate our world leading ambition.

We will publish a document, called ‘Scotland’s contribution to the Paris Agreement – an indicative NDC’, which will centre on Scotland’s world-leading target to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030.

Tackle the biodiversity crisis and invest in nature based solutions

We will invest an additional £500 million in our natural economy to help tackle the biodiversity crisis.

We will publish a new biodiversity strategy within 12 months of the Biodiversity COP, and remain committed to protecting at least 30% of Scotland’s land by 2030.

We want to go further still and will review our current targets when we publish our new strategy.

Restoration of degraded peatland is a vital nature based solution to protecting Scotland’s biodiversity and ending our contribution to climate change, as well as creating opportunities for green jobs and skills.

We are committed to a ten year investment of more than £250 million to support the restoration of 250,000 hectares of Scottish peatland by 2030.

We will increase our targets for new woodland creation by 50%, from 12,000 hectares up to 18,000 hectares per year by 2025.

Promote climate justice

Scotland was the first country in the world to launch a dedicated Climate Justice Fund. Those in the global south have done least to cause climate and ecological change and yet are most likely to be impacted first.

This is not fair. That is why, in the year of COP26, and in a critical moment for global climate ambition, we will double our Climate Justice Fund to £24 million over four years.

Decarbonise the way we heat our homes

We will decarbonise the heating of 1 million homes by 2030 and all new homes and buildings from 2024 will use renewable or zero emissions heating.

If re-elected, we will invest £1.6 billion over the next Parliament to decarbonise the way we heat our homes and other buildings. This will reduce emissions, tackle fuel poverty and create new jobs.

Revolutionise our transport system

As part of our plans to become a net zero nation by 2045 we will deliver a revolution in transport across all parts of Scotland.

We will reduce the use of cars – measured as ‘car kilometres’ – by 20% by 2030, and phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 – two years early.

We will provide free bikes for all children of school age who cannot afford them, remove the majority of fossil fuel buses from public transport by 2023, and create a greener, more affordable and publicly owned railway.

Green our agriculture

We will shift half of all funding for farming and crofting from unconditional to conditional support with targets for biodiversity gain and a drive towards low carbon approaches which improve resilience, efficiency and profitability.

We will support the development of vertical, low carbon farms, fuelled by renewable energy, to produce more of our own fruit and vegetables and double the amount of land used for organic farming.

Become a leading hydrogen nation

We are the first country in the UK to publish a Hydrogen Policy Statement that sets out how we can make the most of Scotland’s massive potential in this new sector.

We have the potential to become a world leading centre for the hydrogen economy – decarbonising our energy system and creating thousands of jobs.

Scotland is prepared to play its full part together with other European nations – that’s why we’re investing £100 million of resources to stimulate the sector and its supply chain.

No fracking

We will not support the development of unconventional oil and gas – often known as ‘fracking’ – in Scotland.

Implement our Deposit Return Scheme

We will implement our ambitious Deposit Return Scheme for single use drinks containers next year to improve recycling, reduce litter and achieve our climate change targets.