A REVOLUTIONARY plan to help ‘save the world’ with an estimated green new deal for Scotland that will cost billions of pounds and create thousands of new jobs to take on the challenge of the threat to our environment, is being unveiled today by an influential think tank. It is understood one of the most costly of the raft of Common Weal proposals suggests the biggest overhaul of housing since the Second World War, with a plan to have greener Scottish homes by installing loft installation, double glazing and renewable technologies. That would involve setting up a national housing company and spend £40 billion to make every home in Scotland more thermally efficient, saving 40% off heating bills. The idea echoes that of the Warm Homes for All scheme proposed earlier this week by the Labour Party which would allow low-income households across the UK to apply for grants for renovation. Labour said that, through their scheme, 6.34m homes would have heat pumps and 5.3m homes would have solar thermal systems by 2030. The party said the UK’s housing stock was among the worst insulated in Europe, with building electricity and heating the biggest source of emissions in Britain. The Common Weal’s climate change-busting plan of action would be financed through public borrowing – and it is understood it could be paid off over 50 years. It would require no additional private spending by households – while creating a carbon-neutral Scotland and future-proofing the nation for generations. The think tank says it is one of the most ambitious projects they have ever organised and consists of a “fully costed” blueprint for how to bring about a net zero Scotland – the first in the world. It will also claim that all current projections about how much of Scotland’s GDP will be needed to tackle climate change are underestimates and that every year for the next 50 years Scotland will have to spend an annual amount closer to three per cent of GDP than to the two per cent often quoted. It would require independence to implement the plan – but it is understood that the Common Weal believe their full proposals, which would be unveiled this afternoon, would be necessary whatever Scotland’s constitutional outcome.
Herald 9th Nov 2019 read more »
The Scottish Green Party has launched its general election campaign with a call to tackle the climate emergency. The party says the issue is the “most pressing” facing voters on 12 December. Co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater highlighted Westminster powers which could be used to address the climate emergency in Scotland. The next UK government will oversee a crucial period for limiting the temperature rise in line with UN targets to avoid a climate catastrophe.
BBC 8th Nov 2019 read more »
Radical proposals to reduce the number of polluting cars and halt major roadbuilding along with a significant increase in spending on cycling and walking are proposed in a Scottish Government-commissioned report. Remember the scrappage scheme? A decade ago, drivers were encouraged to trade in their old, most polluting vehicles for a new model with a £2,000 enticement – and nearly 400,000 took up the offer. But back then, the idea of scrapping your old banger for an electric bike would have been seen by some as preposterous. However, that’s what is recommended in an overlooked conclusion to a Scottish Government-commissioned report from a former chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. In a stark challenge to traditional thinking, which has rightly been highlighted by Lothian cycle campaign group Spokes, Professor Campbell Gemmell wrote: “Scrappage of older and more polluting vehicles does not have to mean replacement with new motor vehicles.” He said a new scheme should be used instead to encourage people to switch from driving, “including options for e-bikes, public transport season ticket contributions and other incentives which reduce car ownership”. Among other hard-hitting conclusions in the report, Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy – An Independent Review, Prof Gemmell called for major road building to be “significantly de-prioritised” and to ideally end within about five years. He further told ministers they must again double spending on walking and cycling, which was doubled to £80 million a year in 2017: “Current funding for active travel is insufficient for transformative change.”
Scotsman 8th Nov 2019 read more »