Ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change and securing a positive future for generations to come are the focus of this year’s Programme for Government, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced in Parliament.
Following the First Minister’s acknowledgement of a global climate emergency earlier this year, the Programme for Government sets out the Scottish Government’s next steps to tackle climate change, including a landmark investment of more than £500 million to improve bus infrastructure across the country to encourage more people to use public transport.
The First Minister also announced plans to decarbonise Scotland’s railways by 2035 and make the Highlands and Islands the world’s first net zero aviation region by 2040.
Other measures include a ‘Green New Deal’, which aims to harness the power of the Scottish National Investment Bank and create a £3 billion package of investments to attract green finance to Scotland.
Regulations will also be developed so that new homes from 2024 must use renewable or low carbon.
This year’s Programme for Government is an important part of our response to the climate emergency, containing measures which will reduce emissions while supporting sustainable and inclusive growth
The First Minister also confirmed the Referendums Bill will go forward this year and that the Scottish Government will ask, during the passage of the Bill, for the transfer of power to hold an independence referendum within this term of Parliament.
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This Programme for Government will put health, prosperity and wellbeing at its heart, and will reinforce Scotland’s place as a dynamic, open, innovative economy.
“In the last 12 months we have made important progress in creating a better and fairer country and this year’s Programme for Government builds on that record.
“Earlier this year, I acknowledged that Scotland – like the rest of the world – faces a climate emergency. We are now committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest – earlier than any other UK nation.
“This year’s Programme for Government is an important part of our response to the climate emergency, containing measures which will reduce emissions while supporting sustainable and inclusive growth.
“It sets out actions which will make a difference for years to come. It details measures which can help make our country the best in the world to grow up, learn, work and live. It meets the challenges of the future, while staying true to our enduring values.”