Liam McArthur, MSP for Orkney and Scottish Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson, today accused the Scottish Government of “downgrading” its decarbonisation targets after a statement by minister Patrick Harvie on heat in buildings.
Speaking in the Parliament today, Mr McArthur criticised Mr Harvie’s announcement that the government is rowing back on its aim to decarbonise one million homes by 2030. Mr McArthur also asked what the Scottish Government plans to do differently in decarbonising the private rental sector, after research showed that only 215 privately-rented homes out of over 340,000 have received funding for any kind of retrofit under the Government’s flagship scheme over the past three years.
Speaking afterwards, Mr McArthur said:
“Experts have been warning for years that without more action and funding, the Scottish Government would be forced to push back its home decarbonisation targets. Ministers have consistently ignored those warnings, preferring to grab headlines but duck the detailed work.
“As a result, rowing back on some of the key dates has become inevitable and necessary, which in turn means more emissions and higher fuel bills for consumers.
“Just pushing back the dates won’t help, however, unless Ministers also commit to stepping up action and funding. The Scottish Government was very critical, rightly so, when the Prime Minister recently diluted the UK Government’s climate commitments. There is a risk that SNP / Green Ministers may now be following suit.