In a forest of targets, we must be sure to see the wood and the trees. The Scottish Government keep setting targets for different sectors that in fact are far from mutually exclusive and must be more joined up.

Juliet Swann, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns, said: “An extra £2.5 million to help address fuel poverty is a start, but will not enable Scotland to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016, which is the goal the government set itself.

“That the extra money is being directed towards local authorities shows that the power to change the lives of the fuel poor often lies with our public bodies. Under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 public bodies have the duty to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change in the most sustainable way.

“It seems to us that the most sustainable way to address energy use is to ensure all homes are made as energy efficient as possible as soon as possible and that this programme is funded by those most able to pay.

“Local authorities should take the opportunities under the Climate Change Act to introduce proactive measures that will help us meet climate change targets, energy efficiency targets and fuel poverty targets. The Government’s own figures show that savings associated with energy efficiency measures can run to over £800 per household every year, so everyone will benefit from an investment that will also have social rewards.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland Chief Executive Duncan McLaren is speaking on the integration of Climate Change and Fuel Poverty policy at the Energy Action Annual Conference in Dunblane on Thursday 5 November.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland

T: 0131 243 2719

Notes for editors

1. Scottish Government news release “Help for fuel poor”
www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2009/11/03162106

2. Friends of the Earth Scotland sits on the Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum.

3. Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. www.foe-scotland.org.uk