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27/06/13 14:37

Increased funds to tackle climate change

Initial £2 million announced for greener street lighting.

More money will be made available to keep Scotland on track to meet its ambitious, world-leading and challenging targets.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse revealed the additional funding will be allocated from the forthcoming Scottish Government budget for 2014-2015 for schemes to help reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

The Minister also announced today that £2 million will be allocated towards greener street lighting which could result in significant carbon reductions to protect our environment and save councils cash.

Scotland is already more than halfway to meeting the 2020 target - and continues to lead Europe on cutting emissions. Between 2010 and 2011, direct Scottish emissions fell sharply, by 9.9 per cent, the biggest single year-on-year decrease since regular reporting of emissions began in 1998.

Speaking as he published the finalised second report on proposals and policies (RPP2) which outlines climate change strategies for meeting targets up to 2027 Mr Wheelhouse said:

"A low carbon Scotland will help to protect our environment and grow our economy - with the benefits being felt across Scottish society.

“Securing additional funding in next year’s budget will enable us to invest in projects which will support the transition to a low carbon society and economy – making smart choices for a greener future.

"The specific investment for greener street lighting is an early but great example of making that smart choice and shows that being greener can have significant other benefits too. Initial analysis of the recent pilot projects show a potential saving of 67 per cent of local authorities street lighting costs so this is an area where cost-effective action on emissions can be taken by the public sector.

"We are committed to doing all we can to tackle climate change and meet our challenging targets. We are already leading the way in Europe - and our emissions reductions by 2011 were larger in size than Northern Ireland's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2011, which signals the scale of Scotland’s achievements to date and even if no proposals were implemented we would be on track to exceed climate change targets of high ambition nations like Denmark and Germany.

“This week the UK Government received a warning from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) that it is not on track to meet its targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions and highlighted that devolved administrations are leading the way. Scotland has set much tougher targets than UK and, when it published its recent Scottish progress report, the CCC remarked on the good progress made to date.

"So Scotland can be justifiably proud of the progress made and achievements to date and we have strong foundations to build on - but we are committed to doing more and we will work tirelessly with businesses and public sector organisations, the environmental sector and of course with families and individuals across Scotland to help make the essential transition to a greener, low carbon society.”

COSLA Spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability, Cllr Stephen Hagan said:

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government has made these funds available to support local authorities in developing the detailed condition survey work required to take forward energy efficient improvements to street lighting.

“Many local authorities have improved the energy efficiency of their street lighting over the years. The work of the councils involved in the pilot projects show that there is potential for more investment in energy efficient street lighting to save costs of both energy and carbon. COSLA welcomes the partnership work between Scottish Futures Trust, SCOTS and local authorities on this area of work and all it has achieved so far and looks forward to the results of the continuing partnership work.

“The RPP2 presents significant carbon reduction challenges for Scotland and highlights the capital investment needed to reach these, this project is a great example of partnership working and we welcome the investment of the £2 million from the Scottish Government.”

Notes to editors

RPP2 report: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/06/6387

The additional funding from the next Scottish Government budget for 2014/15 will be allocated to support delivery of climate change action across portfolios.

The Scottish Government has allocated £2 million from the Sustainable Action Fund in 2013/14 to support the cost of condition surveys, which are a prerequisite to local authorities developing business cases for investment in low carbon street lighting.

Examples of what Scotland has done so far to support climate change action: record levels of renewable electricity; the growing number of well insulated homes; ever more resource efficient businesses; improving vehicle efficiency; plummeting rates of waste to landfill and huge increases in recycling; new ways to cut nitrogen fertiliser use in agriculture; and protecting and growing the natural carbon stores in our peatland and woodlands.

More information on the Scottish Futures Trust street lighting: http://www.scottishfuturestrust.org.uk/files/publications/Street_Lighting_Toolkit.pdf