The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee has recommended that the Scottish Government review infrastructure funding for tackling climate change, to help Scotland meet its targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Committee’s report, which was scrutinising the Scottish Government’s 2015-16 budget, found that new focus was required on the transport and housing budgets to help meet the targets. It also concluded that opportunity existed to contribute more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in areas such as home energy efficiency, rolling out broadband connectivity, and increasing levels of sustainable transport and active travel.
For example, MSPs found that whilst there were successful trial projects underway to make the roads safer for cycling and walking in Edinburgh and Glasgow, it’s important that the lessons learned from these trial projects are now spread across the country.
Convener of the Committee, Jim Eadie MSP said:
“Tackling climate change is a global issue that Scotland has responded to by introducing some of the world’s most challenging targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, despite good intentions and good policy initiatives, Scotland needs to do more ensure we meet our targets.
“Our Committee has called on all parties in Parliament to work together to achieve these challenging targets and for the Scottish Government to review the climate change consequences of its infrastructure programmes and to report back to us before the next spending review.
“In particular, we concluded that more could be done within the housing and transport budgets to make the required contribution to meeting the Government’s climate change targets in 2020 and 2050.
“Our message is that a higher priority needs to be given to the climate change impact of spending in these areas and our Committee is calling for further investment in active travel and an increased focus on Government schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”