On a visit to a building site in Edinburgh, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today set out a commitment to switch one million homes from polluting mains gas to climate-friendly heating by 2030.
The party’s zero carbon homes strategy would help deliver ambitious targets to reduce emissions and would also create incentives for all households to improve their energy efficiency, with an initial five-year programme that will improve 80,000 homes per year.
In their forthcoming manifesto the party will declare home insulation a national strategic priority and set a target to have covered the whole country by 2030, double fuel poverty budgets and provide incentives for all householders. These steps have been estimated to create 34,000 new jobs in energy efficiency.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:
"Today I am setting out a commitment to switch one million homes from gas to zero and low emissions heating by 2030. This is a big number but if we haven’t moved half the homes in Scotland to climate-friendly heating by 2030, we will not meet our climate change targets.
"I have recently installed a heat pump in my own home and know how important it will be to line up the skills, training and business support for the tens of thousands of people who will be part of this transformation.
“I am concerned that, under the SNP’s best-case scenario plans, there will still be 1 in 20 households in fuel poverty in 2040. We must take action now to improve homes and make them greener and warmer. Work on this will create jobs, cut bills and tackle the climate emergency.
“Scotland could be a beacon to the rest of the world, investing now to cut carbon from our energy networks will pay an environmental dividend for decades - we can’t afford to wait.
“We will bring forward an Energy Efficiency and Zero Carbon Bill to underpin a new zero carbon homes strategy. This will introduce ambitious targets so we can meet our emissions and fuel poverty targets.
“When I say Scottish Liberal Democrats will put recovery first, this is what it looks like: more jobs, lower bills and greener homes. This is what people want politicians to focus on - improving lives and communities, not wasting another five years squabbling about how to deliver another divisive referendum.”