Environmental campaigners have responded to today’s Scottish Budget saying it risks becoming another missed opportunity to drive a Green Jobs Recovery.

Key budget facts:

  • Energy efficiency spending has not significantly increased from last year, and remains far short of the levels needed
  • Low Carbon spending accounts for just 34.9% of Budget spending in the Carbon Assessment
  • Walking & Cycling funding faces a real-terms cut, with no additional investment
  • Of the £100 million Green Jobs Fund announced, only £14million will actually be spent this coming year.

Friends of the Earth Scotland are calling on the Scottish Government and opposition parties to work together to negotiate a final budget that delivers the immediate action needed to create good green jobs that reduce climate emissions and strengthen Scotland’s recovery.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Climate Campaigner Caroline Rance said:

“If the Scottish Government is serious about creating a fairer, greener society as we exit the pandemic then they need to start making the choices and the investments that will deliver that transformative change. As it stands, this Budget is yet another missed opportunity to drive a green jobs recovery by boosting demand in key areas like energy efficiency, public transport and skills training. Opposition parties must prioritise these areas in negotiations, to ensure the final budget delivers a much needed green recovery.”

“The Scottish Government can find tens of millions for illusory technologies like Carbon Capture and fossil hydrogen which we all know won’t create enough jobs or emissions cuts until the end of this decade, if then at all. Meanwhile, the Government has failed to increase the pace and scale of action to create the warmer homes that would immediately create jobs across the country, slash fuel poverty, boost public health and bring down climate emissions. These are shovel-ready green jobs, not speculative fantasies pushed by fossil fuel companies.

“Despite the upsurge in cycling we have seen through the pandemic, there has not been an accompanying commitment to increase public spending on ensuring that people on bikes can travel quickly and safely. Freezing spending on walking and cycling creates a real-terms cut year on year, at a time when we need to be supercharging our support for sustainable transport.”

“With tens of thousands of people already out of work due to the pandemic and with the eyes of the world on Scotland’s climate action this year, all parties must now work to create a budget that delivers immediate action for warmer homes, green jobs and helps build that fairer country.”
ENDS

 


NOTES TO EDITORS

Scottish Budget 2021/22 https://www.gov.scot/news/scottish-budget-2021-22/ 

The Scottish Government has previously announced a £62million Energy Transition Fund.  https://www.gov.scot/news/gbp-62-million-fund-for-energy-sector/ 

The Scottish Government has also created a £180 million Emerging Energy Technologies Fund (EETF), “that, over the next 5 years, will support the development of Scottish hydrogen and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) industries, and support the development of Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs)”
https://www.gov.scot/news/steering-scotlands-pathway-to-net-zero

This briefing sets out the policy and spending priorities Friends of the Earth Scotland believe should be at the heart of the Scottish Government’s budget for 2021/22 – with a focus on delivering a green jobs recovery:

  • Invest at least £244million in heat and energy efficiency, creating thousands of jobs and making homes easier to heat
  • Support public transport and bus manufacturing by creating a fund for Local Authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships​ to run bus services
  • Invest in education and training for workers to get into green jobs
  • Rule out public spending on high carbon projects, such as new trunk roads or fossil fuel projectshttps://foe.scot/resource/green-jobs-recovery-budget/

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.