Election 2016 manifestos: Environment and energy policies

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 29 April 2016 in Feature

Environmental and energy policies compared

Although debate over environmental and energy policy has been largely absent from the campaign so far, the party manifestos – now all released – are actually pretty policy heavy (apart from UKIP, which is refreshingly concise).

The following is a comparison of energy and environmental policies, though I have not included plans on land reform, farming/food, and any transport except bits relating to active travel.

The SNP would:

  • Invest £3bn through Scottish Water to upgrade water and sewage infrastructure
  • Invest £250m in waste water facilities on the Clyde
  • Support new wave energy technology
  • Explore the establishment of a Scottish Renewable Energy Bond to encourage investment
  • Set new targets of 1 GW of community and locally-owned energy by 2020 increasing to 2 GW by 2030
  • Ensure that by 2020 at least half of newly approved renewable energy projects have an element of shared ownership
  • Explore the viability of a government owned energy company to support the growth of community and local energy project.
  • Oppose new nuclear power stations
  • Review current voluntary deer management arrangements
  • Introduce first low emission zone will be put in place by the end of 2018
  • Invest £62.5m in low carbon infrastructure and deliver a Low Carbon Travel and Transport programme by 2020
  • Support home energy efficiency through a further £103m investment in 2016/17
  • Install energy efficiency measures in a further 14,000 homes
  • Prioritise the development of the district heating system and will establish a loan fund to meet this end
  • Introduce a Warm Homes Bill
  • Designate 30 Marine Protected Areas
  • Implement Scotland’s first National Marine Plan
  • Cut Air Passenger Duty by 50 per cent by the end of the Parliament and abolish it when resources allow
  • Meet its target of 10 per cent of everyday journeys being made by bike by 2020 by reviewing the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland and extending cycling training for the young

Labour would:

  • Ban fracking
  • Introduce a Warm Homes Act to tackle fuel poverty. Support district heating, renewable heating and energy efficiency
  • Make investment in Carbon Capture and Storage a priority (opposing UK Government decision to end investment in Peterhead CCS project and work with stakeholders to secure its future)
  • Ensure Scottish Government budgets, regulations and legislation are compatible with the Climate Change Act
  • Ensure 100 per cent of food waste is recycled by 2020
  • Launch review of flood defence funding
  • Pursue new community energy ownership models (community, cooperative, public)
  • Aspire to generate 50 per cent of electricity, heat and transport demand from renewables by 2030
  • Target 100,000 jobs in green sector
  • Introduce a marine monitoring strategy so seas are in good environmental condition by 2020
  • Review the future of national parks and consider establishing a new national park
  • Establish a specific unit in Police Scotland to investigate wildlife crime
  • Bring consultation on banning snaring

The Tories would:

  • Protect existing nuclear capacity for the long term
  • Encourage the introduction of a clear home energy efficiency target, aiming for all properties to achieve an EPC C rating or above by the end of the next decade
  • Create more national parks
  • The Tories support a local, river-based management structure as part of reform of wild fisheries
  • £5m of additional investment in Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets active travel grants
  • Oppose cutting Air Passenger Duty

The Lib Dems would:

  • Take forward the recommendations of the Expert Commission on District Heating and support district heating schemes, help businesses convert to renewable heat and seize the potential of local biomass and geothermal energy through new loans and grants from the Fit For The Future Investment Fund
  • Support an expansion of anaerobic digestion to create heat for local energy needs through a suitable planning framework, along with potential increased support from the Green Investment Bank
  • Introduce new building standards for greater energy efficiency, restarting the review cancelled by the Scottish Government
  • Create a Warm Homes Act to secure the growth of district heating and renewable heat. Phase in a new regulation to make sure all newly-let properties achieve energy rating C  
  • Ban fracking, end open cast mining and streamline planning and licencing rules for small scale hydro power schemes
  • Maintain support for the development of carbon capture and storage at Peterhead
  • Create a national strategy and prioritise EU funding for floating, offshore wind technology
  • Seek to create a European marine energy zone with an R&D grid connection between Orkney and the mainland  
  • commit to future funding of Wave Energy Scotland
  • Divert the unused money that is earmarked for the Saltire Prize immediately to prevent further companies from withdrawing from the marine renewable sector
  • Support expansion of the Scottish Government’s Community Wind Benefit scheme
  • Establish new national parks or landscape partnership areas
  • Take stronger action on wildlife crime using the recommendations from the recent review group, together with the proposals from Scottish Environment Link
  • Double the area of native woodland by 2050
  • Retain Air Passenger Duty and will take forward the Cleaner Air For Scotland strategy
  • Add £20m of capital spending on cycling and active transport
  • Revise the current Cycling by Design guidelines to ensure safe provision for cyclists and pedestrians is built into the road system

The Greens would:

  • Ban fracking
  • Promote wider uptake of combined heat and power systems
  • Generate 50 per cent of all energy from renewables by 2030
  • Extend the Scottish Government target for renewable energy capacity so 1 GW is provided by community renewables and 1 GW is provided by locally owned projects by 2013
  • Support the establishment of socially-owned renewable energy companies
  • Increase investment in domestic energy storage systems
  • Increase investment in R&D of bio-based feedstocks at Grangemouth
  • Oppose further UK cuts to renewable support
  • Seek to create 200,000 new jobs by 2035 in sustainable industries
  • Increase funding for Modern Apprenticeships and STEM so more young people (especially women) go into renewables
  • Expand Scottish Enterprise’s remit to support sustainability
  • Increase funding for walking and cycling to 10 per cent of the total transport budget
  • Push for the creation of a Car Share Fund to help local authorities set up such groups and establish fleets of low-carbon vehicles
  • Introduce a fuel poverty scheme funded by the largest energy companies
  • Push for all homes to achieve an Energy Performance Certificate of Band C by
  • 2025
  • Reform the Forestry Act 1967 to enable community bodies to become managers of national forests

UKIP would:

  • Replace SEPA with a new organisation whose aim will be to work with locals and landowners rather than against them and their interests
  • Oppose privatisation of Scottish Water
  • Withdraw funding taxpayer funding from wind energy (while respecting existing contractual arrangements)
  • Support nuclear, clean coal power and gas
  • Scrap targets for forestry and rewilding, opting for local management

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