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Climate Plan scrutiny failure to tackle high-carbon bias in transport investment

Published 09 March 2021 by Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland has issued a parliamentary briefing ahead of this afternoon’s debate on scrutiny of the Climate Change Plan.

A9 dualling. Despite the greenwash, additional road capacity is the focus for Scottish Government capital expenditure in transport.

Transform director Colin Howden said:

“We welcome the joint parliamentary committees’ inquiry report on the Climate Change Plan, and its emphasis on the need for ‘urgent action’. In particular, we are pleased by the transport committee’s recommendation that additional measures will be needed to ‘disincentivise private car use and achieve the necessary shift towards more sustainable transport modes’.

“However, the committees’ report failed to tackle the ‘elephant in the room’: the Scottish Government’s massive bias towards high-carbon infrastructure in the transport sector, despite this being the largest sector for emissions and the sector in which no progress has been made at emission reduction.”

The committed transport spend in the recent Infrastructure Investment Plan is as follows:

  • £2.38 billion low-carbon transport
  • £6.96 billion high-carbon transport

Colin Howden continued:

“The Plan should bring forward an urgent moratorium and review of all road-building projects in line with the advice received from the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland, Just Transition Commission, UK Climate Change Committee and others. Yet despite this range of advice, we are yet to see any evidence of movement away from high-carbon transport infrastructure from the Scottish Ministers. Without such a move, we are not convinced that the Scottish Government’s climate change plans are either coherent or believable.

“Scottish Ministers will also face a significant challenges in presenting a message of climate respnsibility at COP26 when its own investment plans are so skewed to high-carbon transport.”