WWF Scotland and the British Lung Foundation call for low-carbon infrastructure investment
Queensferry Crossing - credit: Greenzowie
WWF Scotland and the British Lung Foundation in Scotland have come together to call on the Scottish Government to focus investment on low-carbon infrastructure projects following the completion of the Queensferry Crossing.
With the crossing set to open to traffic this week, the two groups urged ministers to invest in projects which create green jobs, boost the economy and improve Scotland’s health.
Sarah Beattie-Smith, senior climate and energy policy officer at WWF Scotland, warned the Scottish Government’s 2015 commitment to make energy efficiency a National Infrastructure Priority had not been backed by the necessary funding.
The move follows calls for the Scottish Government to include a target in the Climate Change Bill to ensure every home in Scotland has an Energy Performance Certificate band C.
The Existing Homes Alliance, a coalition of environmental, anti-poverty and housing campaigners, argues that boosting home energy efficiency would reduce levels of fuel poverty, save millions for the NHS and create new jobs.
Irene Johnstone, Head of the British Lung Foundation in Scotland said: “The Scottish Government needs to increase its emphasis on preventing poor lung health. We know cold, damp and mouldy homes cause illnesses, including lung disease, which places additional strain on our health and social services. Therefore it’s clear that improving the condition of Scotland’s homes is a key component to the overall preventative healthcare agenda.
“Research shows that, as a minimum, properties should be raised to an Energy Performance Certificate band C to help reduce the risk of death and ill health associated with living in a cold home. We hope Scotland’s next big infrastructure project will be one that improves the health and wellbeing of the hundreds of thousands of people currently living in a cold and draughty home.”
Sarah Beattie-Smith, Senior Climate and Energy Policy Officer at WWF Scotland added: “Without the money and the detail, the Government’s commitment on energy efficiency is like committing to building a bridge without saying where it’s going. That’s why it’s so important that the Scottish Government uses the upcoming Climate Change Bill to embed new legal targets on energy efficiency, including getting all homes to an EPC rating of C by 2025.
“By doing so, the Scottish Government can create warmer homes, deliver huge economic benefits, improve the nation’s health and drastically reduce emissions too.”