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Scotland set to bear the brunt of climate change costs

Climate Change

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) said that Scotland had lost its lead over the rest of the UK on tackling climate change, and now The Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC) has stated that climate change would cost the public sector £1.1bn a year which is equivalent to 18% of the Scottish governments capital budget. This bill relates to the commitment to reach Net Zero in Scotland by 2045, and the UK by 2050 but the financial burden of tackling the climate crisis will fall disproportionately on Scotland.

The SFC chairman urges both Scottish and UK governments to provide more information about their plans for tackling all aspects of climate change.

The Scottish government have urged Westminster to offer more funding for tree planting, as a greater share of the UK’s overall commitments fall to tree planting in Scotland. Measures like tree planting are vital to tackle climate change as trees will absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Though this currently falls at a disproportionate financial burden for the Scottish people, costing each person in Scotland £207 in comparison to £149 per person in the rest of the UK. The Scottish forestry industry have described the slashing of tree planting budgets, by 41%, as ‘devastating’. This is a short-sighted view as what we do now will make the greatest difference for future generations; considering that faster growing trees can take 30 years to grow.

The Scottish government have blamed cuts to funding from Westminster as the reason for its struggle to fulfill some of its climate change pledges. The UK government deliver £41bn per year to the Scottish government for forestry and the UK Government is delivering £600bn of planned public sector investment over the next five years to support the UK’s energy security.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland have stressed that climate change is already impacting our economy and will do so increasingly unless it is brought under control.. Net Zero secretary Mairi McAllan said: “We will continue to call on the UK Government to change course, and ensure future financial settlements provide us with the resources we need to secure a just and fair transition to net zero.”

 

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