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The recent publication by the Scottish Government of the Climate Change Plan 2018-2032 Update is an opportunity to reframe policy and action in light of new understanding about the climate emergency and renewed commitment to creating a green, inclusive economy addressing the impacts of the Covid pandemic.

In the Ministerial Foreword, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunnigham, states:

‘The scale of the challenge ahead, both to rebuild our economy in the wake of COVID-19, and to deliver our world leading climate change targets, is unprecedented. However, we know the huge opportunities that a transition to a fairer, more sustainable and greener economy can bring for Scotland, including in creating green jobs and wellbeing for everyone’.

The document is co-signed by all Cabinet Secretaries and by the First Minister – demonstrating the importance of climate action and green recovery across Government and across Scottish society.

In response to the publication of the update, Green Action Trust CEO, Derek Robertson said:

‘We welcome the publication of the Climate Change Plan Update. While this update was already planned, the Covid pandemic has shown how important local regional and global action is if we are to deliver a fairer, greener future. We all need to work within our areas of expertise to deliver the priorities contained with the Climate Change Plans.

Within the Update, we particularly note:

  • a commitment to delivering a place-based green recovery working closely with those communities and organisations that need change, are undergoing change or affected by change – and the recognition the 20 minute neighbourhoods will prioritise quality of life and health as well as net zero ambitions
  • the recognition that adaptation and resilience are key components of our green recovery and that natural capital is central to our future net zero economy
  • the commitment of £50 million to transform Vacant and Derelict Land, ensuring that this land is utilised for maximum environmental and community benefit
  • a similar sum to create Active Freeways, providing a sustainable link between our towns, cities and some of our most beloved national landmarks

These are all areas where the Green Action Trust has a long, successful track record and we are committed to continuing to work with the Scottish Government and with partners across Scotland to develop and deliver a green recovery based on climate action, inclusion, placemaking and environmental regeneration’.

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