Environmental groups welcome the Energy Efficiency Action Plan for Scotland published today (6 October) by the Scottish Government.

Friends of the Earth Scotland, WWF and RSPB joint News Release

Friends of the Earth Scotland, WWF Scotland and RSBP Scotland say that the goal of reducing Scottish overall energy use is the right approach, that a cut of 12% by 2020 is a step in the right direction, but express concern at the limited funding commitments and lack of practical detail in the plan.

Duncan McLaren, Friends of the Earth Scotland Chief Executive, said: “We welcome the firm target, but to deliver or even exceed it, will need upfront investment. If the government cannot provide the cash, then it must use regulation to require action, backed by measures to ensure that private financial institutions make the funds necessary available to all. Funding must come at low interest rates that allow householders and businesses to pay loans off through the savings they make on energy bills.

“A lot of energy has been wasted in the six years since an Energy Efficiency Action Plan was first promised. Even now we are still waiting for a detailed route-map for delivering the target, as required by the Scotland’s world leading climate change legislation. With an election on the horizon we challenge all Scotland’s political parties to commit themselves to delivering on these targets with the same enthusiasm that has already helped us exceed our first renewable electricity goals.

Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland, said: “Action on energy efficiency should be our first priority in our battle to reduce climate emissions, create jobs and eradicate fuel poverty.

“The plan sets the right kind of target aiming to deliver a real cut in Scotland’s overall energy demand but it is hard to see exactly what will happen when, so the Scottish budget in November must deliver on energy saving if this plan is to live up to its potential. The climate change plan of action, also due in November, must include the detailed measures to ensure that energy savings becomes a vital tool in reducing climate emissions.

“We would have liked to have seen today’s action plan reflect a stronger commitment to building on the trial universal insulation scheme, but even without this the good news is that householders in Scotland will save nearly a third of billion pounds and reduce climate emissions by making their homes more efficient.”

Aedan Smith, RSPB Scotland Head of Planning and Development, said: “Climate change is the greatest long-term threat to wildlife in Scotland and globally. From changes in seasonal timings through to the impact of more frequent extreme events, the impacts of climate change on wildlife are already occurring.

“Using energy more efficiently is one of the cheapest, most effective ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions and has minimal threat to wildlife. The policy framework set out by the Energy Efficiency Action Plan is broadly welcome but we now need to see energy efficiency measures implemented urgently to achieve real emissions reductions.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

Scottish Government Energy Efficienty Action Plan press release
www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2010/10/06101313

WWF Scotland is aiming for a future where humans and nature live in harmony, thriving within their fair share of the Earth’s natural resources, a One Planet Future with rich biodiversity – a green future, not a grey one.
wwfscotland.org.uk

The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment.
www.rspb.org.uk/scotland

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