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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Scotland Must Continue to Lead The World on Climate Change

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Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) will today set out her ambition to keep Scotland at the very forefront of global efforts to tackle climate change, as she unveils a raft of policies designed to propel Scotland toward becoming a net zero society.

In Government, the SNP has introduced the most ambitious legal framework for emissions reduction in the world, with a target to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030, on the way to being a net zero nation by 2045 – 5 years ahead of the UK.

Key pledges from an SNP Government to meet these targets include:

A transport revolution – a target to reduce the use of cars, measured as ‘car kilometres’ by 20% by 2030, alongside a £500m investment to improve bus infrastructure and tackle congestion, a £120m investment in Zero Emission Buses, and work to decarbonise our railways by 2035.

Decarbonise the heating of 1 million homes by 2030, and ensure all new homes delivered by registered social landlords and local authorities will be zero emission homes by 2026.

Develop the enormous potential of Scotland’s hydrogen sector – including a target of 5GW hydrogen production capacity by 2030 and exploring the use of hydrogen trains as an alternative to diesel and electrification.

Increase our targets for new woodland creation by 50%, from 12,000 hectares up to 18,000 hectares by 2025.

Invest £250m to support the restoration of 250,000 hectares of Scottish peatland by 2030.

Double our world-leading Climate Justice Fund to £24m over four years.

Speaking on a visit to Scottish Power’s Whitelee Windfarm in East Renfrewshire today, Nicola Sturgeon is expected to say:

“In the midst of all the upheaval in our lives over the last year, the climate emergency hasn’t gone away – if anything, the need to take action becomes more pressing with every day that passes.

“The eyes of the world will be on Scotland later this year as Glasgow hosts the COP26 summit, so we must seize the moment and show leadership in helping bring about real global change.

“If re-elected, an SNP Government will ramp up our efforts to become a Net Zero nation by 2045 – with significant and wide-ranging investments which will not only reduce our emissions, but will significantly improve our quality of life.

“In Government the SNP has invested enormously in unlocking Scotland’s renewable energy potential – and last year more than 97% of our electricity demand was met from renewable sources.

“By 2030 we aim to generate 50% of Scotland’s overall energy consumption from renewable sources, and by 2050 we aim to have decarbonised our energy system almost completely.

“As part of our journey to becoming a net zero nation we are the first country in the UK to publish a Hydrogen Policy Statement that sets out how we can make the most of Scotland’s massive potential in this new sector. 

“Scotland can become a world leading centre for the hydrogen economy – decarbonising our energy system and creating thousands of jobs.

“And we’ll build on Scotland’s strong track record of tree planting and peatland restoration, with a £250m investment to support the restoration of 250,000 hectares of Scottish peatland by 2030.

“What we have learned in the pandemic is that, when we need to, society is able to come together to take radical action for the common good – as we head into the recovery from COVID, we must keep that spirit alive to build a sustainable recovery.

“By giving both votes to the SNP on May 6th, the people of Scotland can elect a government which is absolutely committed to tackling the climate emergency and ensuring that the recovery from COVID is a sustainable one which will benefit future generations.”

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