THE SCOTTISH Government should have had bolder climate ambitions in its budget, Scottish Labour have claimed. Claudia Beamish MSP said the SNP did not go far enough to tackle fuel poverty, energy efficiency or creating skilled green jobs in the financial statement set out last week. The Scottish Labour environment spokeswoman said the SNP had chosen to re-announce pledges on a Low Carbon Fund, Green Jobs Fund and a Green Jobs Workforce Academy rather than making firm commitments to kickstart a green recovery. Ms Beamish said: “The SNP Government had an opportunity to do so much more. With the eyes of the world on Scotland’s climate action this year, a bolder budget could have delivered action for warmer homes, green jobs and climate recovery. Action on the climate emergency cannot be stalled as we deal with the health and economic crises. The recovery from lockdown must be just and work to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, 613,000 households are in fuel poverty in Scotland with 311,000 in extreme fuel poverty. Given the scale of unmet need, the current budget is far less than experts suggest is required to tackle fuel poverty in Scotland. This investment should be doubled to at least £244 million for the coming year to see a step change in energy efficiency activity, with a focus on early action on retrofitting to secure local jobs, prevent rising long-term costs, and tangibly improving the lives of people living in fuel poverty.” It comes as the Scottish Government highlighted the green elements of the budget, claiming a record £1.9bn was being invested in tackling climate change and creating green jobs.
Herald 1st Feb 2021 read more »