Nicola Sturgeon has announced the Scottish Government’s plans for the year ahead. The Programme for Government sets out how we will continue to show global leadership on climate change.
The bold new plan has been praised by the UN Head of Environment, Erik Solheim.
Here are just five things we’ll do to protect our environment and tackle climate change.
1. We will phase out the need for petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032. This will be delivered with a big expansion of the vehicle charging network in urban and rural Scotland; investment in innovative solutions; and leadership on procurement from the public sector.
2. Investment in walking and cycling in Scotland will be doubled to £80 million a year. To ensure the delivery of world-class cycling infrastructure an Active Travel Commissioner will also be appointed.
3. A £60 million Innovation Fund will be set up, to find new ways to deliver low carbon infrastructure such as sustainable heating systems or electric vehicle charging.
4. We will introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers, to increase recycling and reduce littering. An expert panel will also be set-up to advice on how we can reduce demand for single-use items, building on the success of the plastic bag charge.
5. To tackle air pollution, we will create Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in our four biggest cities by 2020. LEZs, first introduced in Sweden in 1996, ensure only the least polluting vehicles have access to air pollution hotspots. The first Low Emissions Zone will be established in Glasgow by the end of next year.
6. A publicly-owned, not-for-profit energy company will be established to deliver low-cost renewable energy. The company will buy energy wholesale or generate it here in Scotland and sell it to customers as close to cost price as possible.