Sarah Beattie Smith, Climate and Energy Policy Officer, WWF Scotland: ACROSS Scotland more than a million homes are cold and draughty, wasting energy, wasting money and contributing to climate change. Energy-inefficient homes keep more than one in four households in fuel poverty and add to our collective carbon emissions. Yet the Scottish Government’s consultation on a new fuel poverty strategy, which closes today, recommends deeply unambitious new targets for improving energy efficiency.The Government proposes to cut fuel poverty from nearly 27 per cent of households today to less than 10 per cent in 2040. Anyone who has spent a January evening wrapped up in blankets in their living room won’t be volunteering to spend another 22 winters amongst that overlooked 10 per cent. Together with our other coalition partners in Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, we’re calling on the Scottish Government to bring all homes up to a good standard of energy efficiency by 2025. Luckily, there are several unique opportunities available to the Scottish Government which would help them to achieve this and to overcome the challenges posed by Scotland’s cold and leaky housing stock. First, the new Fuel Poverty Strategy which will emerge following the current consultation needs to set much more ambitious targets for eradicating fuel poverty and set strong minimum standards for the energy performance of our homes. Secondly, the upcoming Climate Change Bill is a chance to set strong targets for Scotland’s energy efficiency programmes over the next 20-30 years. Finally, the Warm Homes Bill, due in Parliament in June, must drive forward action and investment that genuinely creates warm homes, rather than more warm words. We owe it to those people living in cold homes and to the pla net to get this right.
Herald 1st Feb 2018 read more »