Scotland is a world-leader in tackling climate change. New Scottish legislation commits us to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest, and being carbon neutral by 2040.
After advice from the UK Climate Change Committee, we lodged amendments to our Bill that means in addition to the net-zero target for 2045, Scotland will reduce emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 and 90 per cent by 2040 – the most ambitious statutory targets in the world for these years.
The Committee’s recommended targets for Scotland are contingent on the UK adopting a net-zero greenhouse gas emission target for 2050.
Our 2020/21 budget demonstrated the scale of our commitment to tackling climate change with an ambitious package of measures, including £250m multi-annual funding for peatland restoration and £2 billion for infrastructure investment.
Scotland’s emissions have almost halved since 1990 and we continue to outperform the UK, and most western European nations, in delivering reductions. Only Sweden has achieved greater cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
We will build on our work to create a cleaner, greener Scotland with new Low Emission Zones in our four biggest cities to improve quality of life and contribute to the international campaign to reverse global warming. The first Low Emissions Zone came into effect in Glasgow at the end of last year.
The Scottish Government aim to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032 – eight years ahead of the target set by the UK government. This will be delivered by electrifying the road network and doubling investment in Active Travel to £80 million per year.
We have committed £60 million to the Innovation Fund to support the delivery of innovative low carbon energy infrastructure projects, such as electric vehicle charging or sustainable heating systems.
Renewable energy generation in Scotland reached record levels in 2018, providing the equivalent of 75 per cent of gross electricity consumption. And by 2030 we expect to have wholly decarbonised the electricity sector, through increased use of renewables and technologies that remove carbon from the atmosphere.
In 2012 Scotland established the world’s first Climate Justice Fund, seeking to mitigate the damage caused by climate change on the world’s poorest communities. By 2021, £21 million will have been distributed through the Fund, which is now supporting 11 projects in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Rwanda.
We are committed to a green recovery from Covid-19 and have invested almost £39m in Spaces for People to promote active travel and announced £62m investment in Energy Transition Fund.