The Scottish Government has announced plans to invest a “record” £1.9 billion in tackling climate change and creating green jobs in 2021/22 to support Scotland’s net zero transition.
The investment will support the delivery of major, multi-year commitments, including a £250 million peatland restoration programme, £120 million for zero-emission buses and £500 million for Active Travel, committed to increasing levels of cycling and walking for transport and leisure.
In addition, around £70 million will support the improvement of waste and recycling infrastructure projects across Scotland and more than £500 million will be invested in bus infrastructure.
To ensure Scotland realises the full benefits of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, around £8 million will be targeted to showcase the country’s “global leadership” in tackling climate change and accelerating green goals, both domestically and globally.
An ongoing commitment to support countries more affected by the climate emergency will be met with £3 million for international climate justice.
Delivery of a £1.6 billion investment that was previously announced to help transform heat and energy efficiency of buildings will get underway, directly supporting up to 5,000 jobs and tackling fuel poverty while accelerating the decarbonisation of an area which makes up a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.
Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “This is a Budget which rightly focuses on tackling the COVID-19 crisis and supporting our people, health service and economy in the immediate term but it also lays the foundations to rebuild a fairer, stronger and greener Scotland.
“Our commitment to tackling the twin crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss is unwavering and this cross-government investment ensures we support the transformational change required to become net zero by 2045 – doing so in a way that protects our environment, creates good, green jobs and ensures no-one is left behind.
“Our commitment to ensuring Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19 is green has been prioritised despite the significant financial challenges of COVID-19, delays to the UK Budget, the UK Government Spending Review worsening our capital position and key powers remaining reserved to Westminster.
“2021 is a vital year for climate action and COP26 in Glasgow puts Scotland at the centre of a global to protect our people and planet. This Budget enhances Scotland’s role as an international climate leader, backing up the world’s toughest climate target framework with on-the-ground delivery.”