Scottish budget focuses on climate change

Out-Law News | 14 Dec 2021 | 12:27 pm | 1 min. read

Major finance commitments to help decarbonise homes, businesses and transport in Scotland have been outlined by Scotland’s finance secretary, Kate Forbes.

Unveiling the Scottish government’s budget for 2022/2023 (148 page / 4.55MB PDF) on Thursday, Forbes said the planned investment showed the government’s commitment to making Scotland a “fairer, greener and more prosperous” country.

Forbes announced a planned £1.5 billion increase in infrastructure spending by 2025-26, £831 million for 110,000 affordable and energy efficient homes in the next decade, and £150m to support the delivery of active travel infrastructure across Scotland.

She also promised £1.4bn billion to maintain, improve and decarbonise Scotland’s rail network.

Hundreds of millions of pounds were also pledged to a raft of projects designed to fight climate change. The budget promised almost £350 million to decarbonise the heating of a million Scottish homes by 2030 and to invest the first £20m of the £500m Just Transition Fund, designed to support oil and gas workers the north east and Moray

There was also provision for a £53m investment in a range of large-scale industrial decarbonisation projects - including £20m for the Energy Transition Fund, which helps energy firms transition– and a further £6m for the Climate Justice Fund, which is meant to invest a total of £36m across the course of the current parliament to help tackle the effects of climate change in the poorest communities.

Forbes outlined £23.5m for the Green Jobs Fund and £43m to “drive forward Scotland’s circular economy” as well, and pledged to ensure all annual revenues from ScotWind are invested in projects that support Scotland’s energy transition.

The budget also contained plans to grant more than £50m to help increase the sustainability of the farming sector, including £35.8m for “agri-environment schemes”.