Scotland needs to invest £3.6 billion per annum to meet 2045 net-zero goals


The Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG) has issued a report which highlights how much investments is required to be made by the Scottish government to meet 2045 climate change goals.

Between £1.8 billion and £3.6 billion of public and private investment is required per annum for Scotland to achieve its carbon emissions goals by 2045, according to the report.

This equates to 1-2% of Scotland’s GDP.

CERG recommends the government to force consumers to decarbonise by changing from gas to heat pump supplied district heat.

Key budget recommendations made by CERG for the 2020-2021 financial year include:

Agriculture – A £100 million Agricultural Transformation Fund for land use skills training, net-zero farm tool and business fund to purchase latest low carbon farming technologies

Green Growth Accelerator projects – Support innovative co-funding arrangements involving local authorities, the Scottish Government and the private sector to finance the essential place-based, multi-stranded infrastructure projects that will enable Scotland’s transition to net-zero.

Zero emissions cities – funding to support Scotland’s city centres to be vehicle emission-free by 2030 through investment in public transport, walking, cycling, and electric transport. This funding will create more liveable and healthy cities and will also support the same transition throughout Scotland.

Building retrofit – public investment to increase pace and scale of energy efficiency improvements to buildings, which offer the simplest and most cost-effective way to reduce emissions and reduce demand for heat.

Heat pump sector deal – funding to provide clear long-term market signals for the accelerated installation of heat pumps and complementary technologies to reduce heat demand and increase its flexibility, creating and sustaining manufacturing and installation businesses.

Dave Pearson, Director of Star Renewable Energy, said: “It’s clear that as of today and the next decade or more, the only alternative to gas that is a proven scalable solution to bringing sufficient heat energy into cities is district heating.

“If the Scottish or any other government are serious about clean heat, they need to provide both a foundation of heat whereby customers are forced to decarbonise by changing from gas to heat pump supplied district heat. They also need to remove “self-made” barriers such as non-domestic rates that add 50% to the cost of clean heat systems versus existing gas or inequitable planning rules that make it easier to install a gas pipe than a hot water pipe.

“The clean air legislation is a devolved power. Let’s use it to create Low Emission Zones for city-centre buildings. If they can’t do these 3 simple things they should give up. However, if they can, billions of pounds of investment into the civil engineering required will arrive from pension funds and other utility investors primed and ready to support a shift from burning billions of pounds of imported gas to harnessing local wind energy to deliver clean heat.”

Along with Star, organisations including Scottish Power, Scottish Renewables, WWF Scotland, University of Edinburgh, and Energy Saving Trust, have all pledged to support the CERG’s work in enabling informed net-zero policy development.

Dr Sam Gardner, Head of Sustainability and Climate Change, Scottish Power, said: “Transforming Scotland’s buildings from fossil fuels to renewable heat, delivered via electric heat pumps and heat networks powered by an expansion in renewable generation, needs to happen at scale across the next decade if we are to tackle the climate emergency. It is vital that public funding is available at the outset to help level the playing field compared to existing gas systems and help create the necessary scale to support innovation, drive cost reductions and expand the supply chain in Scotland.”

For more information about the report, click here.