Tue 29 Oct, 2019

While it’s been disappointing that Westminster have cut the subsidy for green heating, we have control over building standards and planning and must act now Mark Ruskell

The Scottish Government’s ambition to lower emissions to tackle the climate emergency is already falling behind when it comes to renewable heating, it has emerged.

The existing target for 11% of heating to come from renewable sources by 2020 looks unlikely to be met, with energy minister Paul Wheelhouse admitting only 6.3% was reached in 2018.

In an answer to a parliamentary question, Wheelhouse stated investment in renewable heat in Scotland has slowed down because of changes to incentive schemes by the UK Government.

Responding, Scottish Green energy spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “For a government that likes to talk up its eye-catching targets on climate, the SNP remain woefully incapable of actually meeting them.

“It looks very unlikely we will get to the modest ambition of 11% renewable heat by next year while Sweden is on course to reach 100%. We need to use the powers we have to make our homes more efficient and rapidly expand heat networks infrastructure.

"While it’s been disappointing Westminster have cut the subsidy for green heating, we have control over building standards and planning and must act now. These targets have been in place for nearly a decade and yet compared to renewable electricity we have seen glacial progress.

"Financial subsidy, even when it was set at more attractive levels, did not deliver a step change shift to renewable heating, this needs more regulation and sector planning from government.

“Four out of five Scottish households currently use gas central heating. Why on earth are newly built homes still being plugged into the gas grid when keeping Scotland’s buildings warm accounts for around half of all energy consumption and climate emissions?

“We need a strong policy framework for warm, affordable and zero-carbon homes, such as we propose in the Scottish Green New Deal.”

Get involved

More like this

Special wildlife cops ‘a complete disaster’

Tue 10 Dec, 2019

The SSPCA should be given more powers, after a pilot which saw special police officers patrol the Cairngorms national park for wildlife crime was branded “a complete disaster”.

Speaking at the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, Raptor Ecologist Dr Ruth Tingay pointed to the fact that the special officers failed to report a single wildlife crime, despite the fact white-tailed eagles and hen harriers have disappeared in the area during the period.

“The special constables have been a complete disaster,” she said.

Sea rise report shows devastating impact on Scotland

Tue 10 Dec, 2019

A new scientific report has revealed vital parts of Scotland could be flooded by rising sea levels within just 30 years.

The global report from Climate Central uses new methodology to reveal coastal flood threats around the world, revealing the global vulnerability to sea level rise is far worse than previously thought.