The Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG) has published proposals to enable a green economic recovery in Scotland.
On 13 July, it released a report, stating COVID-19 had created both a public health and economic crisis, making a green recovery “a necessity, not an option”. It proposed a series of policy packages to achieve this, including a city and town infrastructure transformation programme – starting over the next six to 12 months – initially addressing social distancing challenges, before developing into a large-scale infrastructure stimulus across buildings, transport and digital infrastructure, ensuring towns and cities become lower carbon.
The report stressed that the recovery will require the Scottish government to unlock private investment through greater policy certainty, with a wider programme of capital investment also cited as a necessary part of an accelerated climate response. A rural jobs creation programme, a green scrappage scheme and green enterprise support were all identified as a priorities, while the report endorsed investment in energy efficiency and low carbon heating of existing buildings. Describing it as a “readily expandable” infrastructure project, it said it would lead to job creation, along with numerous social, health and economic co-benefits.
Elsewhere, investment in skills and education was proposed as a way to avoid young people being disproportionately impacted by economic recession. The combination of new educational opportunities for young people, along with reskilling and retraining opportunities for already established workers, would ensure the whole workforce can contribute to the next phase of Scotland’s climate response.