Scottish Renewables the leading green energy body has welcomed ‘significant and far reaching’ changes made to the Scottish Climate Change Bill this afternoon. Amendments supported by industry were voted through to require by law an action plan and targets for delivering renewable heat in Scotland. Heating, which makes up more than half of Scotland’s energy needs, is seen as critical in meeting climate change targets but is often forgotten in the debate around electricity and transport which are smaller energy sectors.
The amendments sponsored by Rob Gibson MSP and the Minister Stewart Stevenson MSP were voted through by the Transport Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee this afternoon during its stage two consideration of the climate bill and will require an action plan to deliver renewable heating alongside targets and proper scrutiny of the plan by parliament.
Jason Ormiston, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables said, “No Scottish target for tackling climate change can be met unless we increasingly cut the carbon out from the way we heat our homes and workplaces. There is a massive potential for growth in renewable heat in Scotland, we estimate even modest targets could deliver over 2,000 jobs and nearly £2.5 billion pounds of investment. For too long the impact of heating has been lost in the debate on electricity, hidden away in our homes and offices quietly contributing to a huge proportion of our climate change emissions. The change in the law today will make renewable heat centre stage in the action required to deliver on climate change, energy security and fuel poverty.”
Rob Gibson MSP said, “These amendments give a renewable heat plan greater strength in the Bill. Along with the Government amendment they strengthen the bill by promoting clear goals for the heat plan and allow parliament better opportunities to scrutinise progress."
The change in the law comes as renewable heat takes centre stage in the Scottish Renewables Festival this coming weekend, with green heat solutions being showcased to the public across Scotland from Fort William to the Lothians and Dumfries. See www.renewablesfestival.com/events for full listings of this ‘doors open’ weekend.