SNP Manifesto 2019: What we’re doing for the environment
Scotland – like the rest of the world – faces a climate emergency.
In Scottish Government, we have already passed into law world-leading emission reduction targets, backed up by climate action that received international praise from the UN.
But there is more to do. We have a moral responsibility to tackle climate change and will lead the way in showing how our society can transition to net zero while creating economic opportunity and providing the assurance of rewarding work for all.
Here’s our plan.
Demanding Westminster steps up to the challenge and matches Scotland’s ambition
We can only end Scotland’s contribution to Climate Change if everyone plays their part – including the UK Government. With Westminster in charge of many policy and infrastructure levers, we will be less able to meet our targets if the UK government doesn’t step up to the challenge.
SNP MPs will demand the UK accelerates its action to meet Scotland’s climate change targets – the toughest legal targets in the world – of a 75% emissions reduction by 2035, net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, and net-zero of all emissions by 2045.
We will also work to prevent the threat of Brexit being used by the UK to reduce commitments to tackle climate change. Regardless of whether Brexit happens or not, the UK must stick to future EU emission standards and not partake in a race to the bottom. SNP MPs will hold the UK government to account and work to block any sell-out of Scotland’s environment in a future dodgy trade deal.
Better, greener public transport
We all know that the way the rail network is run – with control over infrastructure in Westminster’s hands, while the rail services are devolved – isn’t working. SNP MPs will press to put rail infrastructure powers in the hands of the Scottish Parliament, so we can fully run our railways here in Scotland and to enable them to be run by the public sector.
What’s more, we will press the UK Government to commit to improvements on the journey times between Scotland and London, to reduce the need for domestic flights.
Better, greener taxes
We will support substantial reforms to the UK tax system to support greener choices, with SNP MPs campaigning for tax incentives to enable people to make the switch to low-carbon heating systems more affordable, as well as incentives for businesses to use sustainable transport choices.
SNP MPs will also press for a reduction in VAT on energy efficiency improvements in homes, ending the Treasury’s 20% tax on making people’s homes warmer and greener.
Supporting carbon capture and storage
We want Scotland to be a leader in the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, which has the potential to create thousands of jobs while helping to fight climate change.
Too often the UK has held this ambition back – not least when they reneged on their commitment to a £1 billion project set to benefit Peterhead Power Station.
SNP MPs will pressure the UK Government to accelerate deployment of fully operational carbon capture utilisation and storage facilities in Scotland to ensure we are not denied this opportunity again.
Establishing a Net Zero Fund
We will press for the oil and gas revenue to be put to work in building the transition to a greener, sustainable future.
We will demand the ring-fencing of oil and gas revenues to create a Net Zero Fund, which will help stimulate transition to greener energy through investment in areas such as renewables, electric vehicles, and carbon capture.
What’s more, to ensure that no community gets left behind in the transition, we will demand that at least £1 billion of the Net Zero Fund over 5 years goes to diversify the economies of oil hubs such as Falkirk, Aberdeen and Shetland.
Introducing a Green Energy Deal
SNP MPs will oppose new nuclear power plants and push the UK government to invest in cleaner, cheaper forms of electricity generation instead.
We will also put pressure on the UK to properly support Scotland’s renewables industry or else devolve the powers to Scotland to let us get on with the job.
Green energy projects need the long-term certainty and commitment to support investment – that’s why SNP MPs will press for a wave and tidal energy industrial strategy with adequate funding, as well as for offshore wind to be allowed to compete for UK government support.