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Scottish Ministers must match climate rhetoric with spending priorities

Published 11 December 2015 by Colin Howden

Transform Scotland have responded to the Committee on Climate Change’s call for evidence on the Scottish annual targets on climate change.

John Webster, author of Transform Scotland’s response, said:

“Transport is an area where a major impact could be made in reducing GHG emissions by investment in active travel within our major cities and by reducing car commuting by investment in, for example, tram networks and/or hydrogen and electric buses (using hydrogen or electricity produced by wind power).

“However, the key challenge is a continued failure on the part of Scottish Ministers to match their rhetoric on the need for climate action with spending priorities that will bring about cuts in climate emissions. Between 2011-12 and the 2015-16 budgets, Scottish Government expenditure on roads increased by 34% and expenditure on aviation by 70%. At the same time, expenditure on buses increased by 1%, while investment in active travel (walking and cycling) remains below 2% of the overall budget. The Scottish Government is committed to an £8 billion road-building programme – per capita far in advance of that seen in England – and a commitment to abolish Air Passenger Duty at a cost of £250m to the Scottish Budget.”

Transform Scotland’s evidence paper is available for download. The call for evidence closed earlier today.