Build infrastructure for Scotland’s low carbon future
Scottish Parliamentary elections 2016
The Scottish Government will be investing billions of pounds over the coming decades to modernise Scotland’s infrastructure, like roads, railways, hospitals and schools.
The strategic decisions we make now about the kind of infrastructure we build will determine how we travel, heat our homes and power our industries in 2050. They’ll also determine whether we fulfil our climate change ambitions.
Over the past three years, just over 50% of the infrastructure spend by the current Scottish Government could be described as low carbon. A recent report
from the Green Alliance shows that a global average of at least 70% spend on low carbon infrastructure is required in order to prevent dangerous climate change and the Scottish Government needs to go much further to achieve its climate targets.
Spending decisions are currently assessed for their direct carbon impacts but not their indirect, life-cycle impacts. For example, we count the emissions from the concrete required to build a road, but not the new road traffic emissions that will result from its use. This doesn’t make sense and prevents fully informed decision-making.
We want political parties to commit to allocating a much higher proportion of future Scottish Government’s capital budgets to low carbon infrastructure and to properly count the long-term effects of our infrastructure decisions.