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Clean, green energy

17/06/2009

A massive increase in clean, green energy and full take up of electric and alternative fuel vehicles is needed to drastically cut emissions by 2050 and transform Scotland into a low carbon economy.

The measures are part of the Scottish Government's Climate Change Delivery Plan, which sets out a vision to meet the world leading Climate Change Bill target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

The plans will also be key to unlocking Scotland's vast potential in renewables and creating tens of thousands of green jobs.

Four major transformational measures are envisioned:

  • Low carbon electricity by 2030, through increased renewables and clean fossil fuels utilising carbon capture and storage technology;
  • Wholesale adoption of low carbon road vehicles, and significant electrification of rail by 2050, with significant progress by 2030;
  • Low carbon heating by 2050, with significant progress by 2030, through reduced demand, better energy efficiency and a massive increase in renewable and low carbon heating systems;
  • Fewer emissions from agricultural businesses, more woodland planting and appropriate protection for Scotland's carbon rich soils.

Launching the plan, Climate Minister Stewart Stevenson tested an electric car provided by Allied Vehicles in Glasgow. He said:

"We are today outlining a plan that will transform Scotland to a sustainable, low carbon society.

"Scotland will soon have the most far reaching climate change legislation in the world. That must be accompanied by action and our Delivery Plan demands action now, tomorrow, and from future generations and future governments.

"Scotland's role in the global effort to reduce emissions will create clear economic benefits and help maintain a thriving economy. Harnessing the energy related opportunities presented by Scotland's natural capital can create tens of thousands of green jobs as we move to 2050. These are jobs for the future - jobs in our rapidly expanding renewables industry, in developing and applying clean fossil fuel technology, in energy efficiency and microgeneration and in the developing sustainable transport industry.

"Through our economic recovery programme we are progressing actions to create new jobs in low-carbon sectors such as in energy generation, energy efficiency and sustainable transport."

The Climate Change Bill sets a target to cut emissions by at least 34 per cent by 2020 rising to at least 42 per cent if, as we hope, the EU agrees to reduce its emissions by 30 per cent by 2020. Both targets will be challenging. A global deal in Copenhagen in December will be crucial to delivering the higher target.

Action to meet the 2020 target includes:

  • A reduction in energy demand and better energy efficiency and insulation
  • An increase in renewable electricity and operational carbon capture and storage
  • An action plan for the widespread development and uptake of low carbon vehicles
  • Increasingly tight building regulations leading to low carbon homes by 2017 with better building standards
  • Increased woodland planting and improved nutrient, soil and livestock management

Mr Stevenson continued:

"The Delivery Plan shows the immense challenges we face in reaching our targets, for 2020 and 2050, but we have already started to take action - we are working on ten energy pledges that are key to reducing emissions and creating green jobs now and for the future. We are investing in public transport, creating new woodlands, pursuing a zero waste policy and next year's budget will include a carbon assessment of every government policy.

"Drawing existing and future action together, the Delivery Plan sets out the co-ordinated approach we need to take to meet the demands of Parliament and our people and make Scotland a world leader in tackling climate change."

Councillor Alison Hay, COSLA's Regeneration and Sustainable Development Spokesperson said:

"To meet the targets set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill and our expected international obligations following agreements in Copenhagen at the end of this year will require a fundamental shift in the way we all live our lives, I think there is now general recognition that we have been exceeding the planets limits for too long.

"There is no doubt that there will be considerable funding and capacity issues for local government and others but Councils are committed to the significant challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change and much discussion needs to take place over the coming months about how we can achieve these targets in partnership and how we can ensure that communities are involved and empowered to make the necessary changes to move towards low carbon living."

The Climate Change Delivery Plan identifies the key sectors for abatement, the high level measures required in each sector to deliver the 2020 target and the four transformational outcomes required by 2030 to put Scotland on the right track to meet its 2050 target, milestones and actions; and barriers and risks around implementation.

The Plan is a precursor to the first Report on Proposals and Policies which, under the provisions of the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill, Ministers are obliged to lay before the Scottish Parliament in 2010. This report will contain the detail of the delivery arrangements for key measures.

The final Parliamentary stage of the Climate Change Bill is due to take place on June 24, 2009.

International negotiations on a replacement for a global treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are taking place in Copenhagen in December 2009.

The annual progress report on tackling climate change in Scotland has also been published today and will be available on our website later. The report outlines key achievements in 2008-09 and provides an overview of Scottish, UK and EU level targets.

Allied Vehicles, an innovative Glasgow based manufacturer in electric vehicle technology.