Scottish Government boosts net zero fund to almost £1.6 billion

THE Scottish Government has announced that an additional £500 million is to be invested in its Green New Deal, bringing the total to nearly £1.6 billion.

The Government said the funding will support up to 5,000 jobs and tackle fuel poverty, with the investment looking to transform heat and energy efficiencies of buildings and rapidly accelerate the decarbonisation of areas in the country.

Of the funds, £150 million will deliver a 50% increase in woodland creation by 2024; £150 million for flood risk management; £100 million to the Green Job Fund; £60 million to help industrial manufacturing sectors decarbonise; and £70 million to develop a new route map to reduce waste.

Environment and climate change secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said, “The coronavirus pandemic has been an unprecedented global crisis which has fundamentally changed every aspect of our lives. How we work, how we travel, how we use our land and other natural assets will all need to be re-imagined in order to build Scotland’s recovery and shape our future. This year’s Programme for Government makes clear that our commitment to tackling the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss is unwavering. Indeed, they are central to our recovery.

“We will ensure our recovery is one that creates good quality, green jobs and ensures a fair and just transition to net-zero, leaving no-one behind. The natural economy is a vital asset in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, responding to climate change, ending biodiversity loss and creating the new, green employment opportunities of the future. It is central to our PfG and to our green recovery plans.

“In planning our green recovery, we have sought and implemented expert advice at every turn, and will continue to do so as we work towards updating our Climate Change Plan by the end of the year.”