Charities and transport campaigners back 50% renewable target by 2030

Nathanael Williams

Campaigners say a third of all cars and half of all buses should be electric by 2030

A NEW REPORT has suggested that half of all of Scotland’s energy including heat, transport and electricity can be obtained from renewables by 2030.

Charities backing the paper have said that it shows the most cost effective way to reach the Scottish Government’s climate targets is by developing greater renewables use in transport and more efficient housing.

The report suggests that a third of cars and half of all buses will become electric in order to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles over the long term.

“Anyway you look at it, a rapid transition to renewable energy makes sense.” Richard Dixon

Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland said: “This report shows that a 50 per cent renewables target for all our energy needs by 2030 is not only needed but that it is achievable.  

“Ministers should now make this a Scottish Government target and bring in the policies needed in its forthcoming energy strategy. Doing so would enable Scotland to enjoy the many economic and social benefits that the report suggests would take place as result of generating half of all our energy needs from renewables.

“Scotland is already seeing the economic and social benefits of shifting our electricity system to clean, climate-friendly, renewables generation. However, with electricity accounting for just a quarter of our energy use, it’s time to begin to reap the same benefits by increasing the use of renewables in our heat and transport sectors.”

The report by WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES) and RSPB Scotland also said that two-fifths of Scotland’s homes should be heated from renewables, which would work in tandem with the Warm Homes Act, due to be passed by the Scottish Government, and aimed at making homes less wasteful of energy.

Other targets included generating Scotland’s electricity almost entirely from renewables with, excess energy being exported to our neighbours and a national energy efficiency programme to insulate homes and reduce energy use to 30 per cent lower than at present.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of FoES said: “This report shows that investing in tackling climate change brings many other benefits, including helping create jobs in low-carbon sectors, improving people’s living conditions and cleaning up the toxic traffic pollution that blights our towns and cities.  Anyway you look at it, a rapid transition to renewable energy makes sense.”

In relation to the target to make a third of Scotland’s cars and 50 per cent of buses electric, Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland said: “When it comes to climate emissions, Scotland’s transport sector is stuck in neutral, with emissions barely reduced on where they were in 1990.

“Yet there is a lot more that could be done. We need to level the playing field so that public transport, cycling and walking can compete with the private car, and have a long-term strategy that clearly shows how all transport will shift over to low-carbon.”

The report follows the Paris climate talks this week, where the UK Government has been condemned for not meeting its signatory obligations.

Picture courtesy of WWF Scotland

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