CCS, ban on biodegradable waste to landfill among Scotland’s new climate plans

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) and a potential ban on sending biodegradable waste to landfill feature among more than 100 new policies and proposals to support Scotland’s green recovery and net-zero journey.

The new targets form part of Scotland’s Climate Change Plan 2018-2032, which has been updated to reflect the framework of climate targets as enshrined in Scotland’s Climate Change Act 2019.

The plan, which also increases the ambition of more than 40 other policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, includes:

  • Launching a £180 million (€199 million) Emerging Energy Technologies Fund, that over the next five years, will support the development of Scottish hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) industries, and support the development of negative emissions technologies (combining bioenergy electricity production, fuel and hydrogen production, and industrial process)

  • Additional funding of £120 million (€133 million) for zero-emission buses to accelerate the decarbonisation of Scotland’s bus fleet and support the Scottish supply chain

  • £50 million (€55 million) to support the creation of Active Freeways to provide sustainable transport links between towns and cities

  • Reducing the number of kilometres travelled by car by 20% by 2030 in line with the vision and priorities of Scotland’s new National Transport Strategy

  • Phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, in line with the UK Committee on Climate Change advice

  • Plan to help create one million zero-emission homes by 2030

  • A Waste Routemap to 2030 and beyond, including consulting on a ban on all biodegradable non-municipal waste being sent to landfill, also in line with UK Committee on Climate Change advice

  • Nature-based solutions, including an additional £500 million (€555 million) of investment in the country’s natural economy, with peatland restoration and woodland creation helping to enhance biodiversity and create green jobs while tackling climate change

The updated Climate Change Plan also references the importance of bioenergy in helping to deliver negative emissions, with the Scottish Government planning to publish a Bioenergy Update in early 2021. An Expert Working Group will be established to consider and identify the most appropriate and sustainable use of bioenergy resources in Scotland. In 2023, a Bioenergy Action Plan will be published.

Roseanna Cunningham, Climate Change Secretary, said: “Our commitment to tackling the twin-crises of climate change and biodiversity loss is unwavering and is central to our green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Scotland has the most ambitious climate legislation in the world. Our 2030 target of 75% reduction goes beyond what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says is needed globally to prevent warming of more than 1.5 degrees. It is, therefore, rightly ambitious and extremely stretching.”

The update to Scotland’s Climate Change Plan addresses several barriers to achieving net-zero which Scottish Renewables and its members have identified.

“In particular, a commitment to ensuring Scotland has a flexible, responsive electricity system powered by renewables is good news,” said Morag Watson, director of policy at Scottish Renewables, “as is a pledge to reduce timescales for granting planning consent for complex electricity generation and energy transmission infrastructure upgrades.

“We are also pleased to see the introduction of a framework of support to deliver a step-change in emerging technologies and support the commercialisation of renewable energy generation, storage, and supply.

“On heat, confirmation that Scotland will be participating in the UK Clean Heat Grant will support the uptake of heat pumps – good news for homeowners, particularly in rural areas, who currently pay a disproportionate amount for heating – as well as Scottish manufacturing of the technologies needed to tackle climate change.”

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