CAS calls for honesty over who will pay for more sustainable economy
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has called for honesty from policy makers on who will foot the bill in the move towards a more sustainable economy.
With climate strikes due to occur globally today, CAS has welcomed the arrival of climate change discussion within the agendas of politicians and businesses.
However, CAS has warned that the cost of moving to net zero emissions should not fall heaviest on the poorest. The charity makes this call as over half a million households in Scotland currently live in fuel poverty.
Speaking ahead of the climate strikes, Dr Jamie Stewart, Citizens Advice Scotland strategic lead for fair markets, said: “The climate emergency is now firmly on the agenda. We are seeing commitments from politicians to tackle the crisis and pledges from major companies to cut their emissions as part of corporate social responsibility. That’s welcome progress, but it’s essential now that policy makers take steps to ensure that cutting emissions to meet ‘Net Zero’ targets doesn’t increase inequality in our society. In the energy sector, public and private investment in domestic energy efficiency and renewable technology should be rolled out in a way that benefits the most vulnerable first, especially with half a million households in Scotland living in fuel poverty.”
Dr Stewart added: “There also needs to be honesty about who foots the bill for developing infrastructure which will let us meet climate targets. We can’t expect people who are already just about managing to support things like electric vehicle charging networks if it means paying more on their bills. So while we are at the exciting cusp of warm words being turned into action – that action must be well thought through, fair and provide support and protection to those already struggling in today’s society.”