Election: Housing forms key part of Scottish Labour’s Climate Recovery Plan
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has today revealed his Climate Recovery Plan which sets out measures to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 including upgrading all homes to at least an energy efficiency rating of C or higher by 2030.
In addition to reducing wasted energy when heating homes, Mr Sarwar said the plan would help end fuel poverty, save Scots up to thousands of pounds a year on their heating bills, and create 7,500 jobs.
Under the plan, a National Housing Agency would be established to coordinate the rollout of insulation, double glazing, boiler replacement and renewable heat.
The number of homes renovated annually would be doubled to 80,000, while grants would be provided to low and middle income households, and interest-free loans to others, to pay for upgrades up to £18,000, targeting fuel poor and rural homes first.
The Climate Recovery Plan also pledges to plant at least 15,000 trees a year, use the procurement power of the Scottish Government to reduce climate emissions, lead a ‘just transition’ to net zero, and establish a Scottish Conservation Corp dedicated to restoring the natural environment.
It would also guarantee free bus travel to under 25s, invest in interest-free government loans to help more low and middle income households to buy electric cars over the next two years, and increase active travel spending to 10% of the overall transport budget.
Mr Sawar said: “Climate change doesn’t know any borders, so we are on the side of anyone who thinks that our environmental recovery is more important than egos or old arguments.
“I am an environmentalist and I want the focus of our next parliament to be on averting the climate emergency.
“Later this year, Glasgow will host COP26 and the eyes of the world will be on Scotland, that is a once in a generation opportunity to lead by example.
“I want Glasgow to be synonymous with world leading action on climate change - for history to look back at a world saved by an agreement struck in my home city.
“But the first step we must take is to ensure that we are doing as much as we can, here at home, to make our contribution.
“So we will put our climate - and the opportunities for our economy it presents - at the heart of our campaign.
“It means confronting the climate emergency, and the threat it poses to our very survival, head on.
“But also ensuring that we create well paid jobs to ensure that the Scots see the benefits of going green in their wallets, as well as in our environment.
“And if you feel like we do, that economic recovery and climate action go hand in hand, then let’s work together to deliver a world our children will be proud of.
“Because Scotland - and our planet - deserve more than our government has delivered.
“Scotland needs a parliament focussed on a recovery that tackles climate change - not more division.”