Commenting on the Scottish Government’s draft budget published today Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Director Dr Richard Dixon said:

“This budget takes some useful steps in the right direction on the funding needed to properly tackle the climate crisis, and making that action one of the three stated priorities.

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“There are important moves in this budget to address the transport sector which is the most climate polluting sector of Scottish life. Funding for walking and cycling has increased to record levels and sets us on the way to deliver the promise of 10% of the transport budget going on active travel. ”

“A 20% increase in the fund which helps bus companies transition to electric vehicles is very welcome with thousands of buses needing to be replaced over the next two years.  Funding to help councils develop bus companies and significantly increased funding for rail are also good news.”

“We have been consistently calling for free public transport, and while we welcome continuing funding for free travel for under 22s in Scotland, public transport should be free at the point of use for everyone.”

“There is a massive challenge to make Scotland’s homes and buildings more energy efficient and the government has promised to invest £1.8bn over this Parliament but the £336m allocated in this budget fails to give this work the flying start it needs.

“The first phase of the Just Transition Fund is welcome and it is positive that key projects are to be identified by the people who will be impacted by the transition. This investment must be deployed and scaled up urgently, to ensure the projects chosen by workers and communities lead to decent green jobs and social benefits as quickly as possible.

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“When we see the full detail of the spending plans we will be looking to ensure that the Scottish Government is not pouring further millions of public money into prolonging the life of fossil fuel companies via the pipe dream of Carbon Capture and Storage. CCS is a dangerous distraction from the necessary action to cut climate emissions from our energy sector and transition away from oil and gas throughout the crucial decade up to 2030.

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“The UK Committee on Climate Change report released on Tuesday highlighted that the Scottish Government was not doing enough to reach its emissions reductions targets. This budget takes some of the right steps but we need to urgently accelerate action to address the climate emergency.“

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors
1. Link to Scottish Government draft budget: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-budget-2022-23/documents/ 


2. Scotsman op-ed from today on what needs to be in the Budget from Richard Dixon: https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/climate-change-scottish-governments-budget-is-first-real-test-of-its-cop26-rhetoric-dr-richard-dixon-3487103 

3.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, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.