Scottish Government plans to decarbonise railways by 2035

Ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change and securing a positive future for generations to come are the focus of this year’s Programme for Government, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in Parliament.

Following the First Minister’s acknowledgement of a global climate emergency earlier this year, the Programme for Government sets out the Scottish Government’s next steps to tackle climate change, including a landmark investment of more than £500 million to improve bus infrastructure across the country to encourage more people to use public transport.

The First Minister also announced plans to decarbonise Scotland’s railways by 2035 and make the Highlands and Islands the world’s first net zero aviation region by 2040.

Other transport actions include creating the conditions to phase out the need for all new petrol and diesel vehicles in Scotland’s public sector fleet by 2030, and phasing out the need for all new petrol and diesel cars from the public sector fleet by 2025. In addition, the Scottish Government will provide an additional £17 million to support the demand for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) through our Low Carbon Transport Loan scheme, while expanding the scheme to include used electric vehicles for the first time.

The First Minister said: “This Programme for Government will put health, prosperity and wellbeing at its heart, and will reinforce Scotland’s place as a dynamic, open, innovative economy.

“In the last 12 months we have made important progress in creating a better and fairer country and this year’s Programme for Government builds on that record.

“Earlier this year, I acknowledged that Scotland – like the rest of the world – faces a climate emergency. We are now committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest – earlier than any other UK nation.

“This year’s Programme for Government is an important part of our response to the climate emergency, containing measures which will reduce emissions while supporting sustainable and inclusive growth.

“It sets out actions which will make a difference for years to come. It details measures which can help make our country the best in the world to grow up, learn, work and live. It meets the challenges of the future, while staying true to our enduring values.

“However, alongside these crucial steps, we will continue to plan for the possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit and, as long as this remains a risk, the Scottish Government will work as hard as we can to mitigate the impact on families, communities and businesses across the country.”

Read the full Programme for Government