By Lucy Ashton
Dumbarton constituency candidate Jackie Baillie has backed Scottish Labour’s Climate Recovery Plan as Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar launches ‘Green Labour’.
Baillie, pictured right, said that Scotland must focus on averting the climate emergency, not the old divisions of the past that other parties want to return to.
The Climate Recovery Plan sets out measures to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 and create thousands of green jobs, including upgrading all homes to at least an energy efficiency rating of C or higher by 2030.
In addition to reducing wasted energy when heating homes, this would help end fuel poverty, save Scots thousands of pounds a year on their heating bills, and create 7,500 jobs.
This would be delivered through measures to:
• Establish a National Housing Agency to coordinate the roll out of insulation, double glazing, boiler replacement and renewable heat.
• Double the number of homes renovated annually to 80,000.
• Provide grants to low and middle income households, while providing interest free loans to others to pay for upgrades up to £18,000, targeting fuel poor and rural homes first.
The Climate Recovery Plan also pledges to plant at least 15,000 trees a year, use the procurement power of the Scottish Government to reduce climate emissions, lead a ‘just transition’ to net zero, and establish a Scottish Conservation Corp dedicated to restoring our natural environment.
It would also guarantee free bus travel to under 25s, invest in interest-free government loans to help more low and middle income households to buy electric cars over the next two years, and increase active travel spending to 10 per cent of the overall transport budget.
Jackie Baillie said: “Climate change doesn’t know any borders, so we are on the side of anyone who thinks that our environmental recovery is more important than egos or old arguments.
“I am an environmentalist and I want the focus of our next parliament to be on averting the climate emergency.
“Our community sits on the banks of the Clyde and Loch Lomond. Tackling climate change and protecting the natural world is a key priority for many local people.
“Later this year, Glasgow will host COP26 and the eyes of the world will be on Scotland, that is a once in a generation opportunity to lead by example.
“But the first step we must take is to ensure that we are doing as much as we can, here at home, to make our contribution.
“It means confronting the climate emergency, and the threat it poses to our very survival, head on.
“But also ensuring that we create well paid jobs to ensure that the Scots see the benefits of going green in their wallets, as well as in our environment.
“Scotland needs a parliament focused on a recovery that tackles climate change – not more division.”
Top picture: Scottish Labour would plant more trees like these in the hills at Dumbuck.