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Climate campaign paves path towards a greener Scotland

THE Scottish government should spend more cash on projects aimed at tackling the climate emergency, an environmental action group has said.

Campaigners and trade unions from the Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG) have set out policies to reduce carbon emissions as Scotland’s economy moves out of lockdown.

A new CERG report puts forward a path towards net-zero carbon emissions in Scotland based on “significant public investment,” which it says is a “massive opportunity to catapult and prioritise a just transition.” 

Proposals include schemes for “reskilling and retraining” people working in the oil and gas sector to become “front-line workers for the climate emergency,” as well as apprenticeships for young people in the renewable energy industry.

A programme should also be set up for school leavers to volunteer on environmental projects, which the report suggests could be “somewhere between gap-year and national service models.”

WWF Scotland’s Fabrice Leveque said: “We need to learn the lessons of the past and build back a better, greener and fairer economy that is resilient to the climate emergency accelerating before our eyes.

“A wealth of evidence shows that steps to make our economy lower-carbon can secure jobs and bring other benefits like cleaner air, warmer homes and better health.”

Under the proposals, university funding would also become dependent on developing “climate skills action plans.”

The report also calls for existing retrofit schemes to be doubled to provide home insulation in an estimated 30,000 properties a year.

Energy Saving Trust’s Mike Thornton added: “The quality of our homes has never mattered more than in lockdown and making them fit for the future can cut emissions today, tackle fuel poverty and create jobs around the country.”

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