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Just transition to net zero at the heart of Scottish government's five year plans

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who today launched the bank. Image: The Scottish National Party

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who today launched the bank. Image: The Scottish National Party

The Scottish government has outlined plans to help secure a just transition to net zero, including opportunities for new green jobs.

This comes as part of its Programme for Government 2021-22, which while detailing plans for the next year, also "sets the scene" for the next five years.

As such, it includes the Scottish government's commitment to implement the 24 recommendations from the Just Transition Commission - published earlier this year - across the course of this Parliament.

These include commitments to design and implement a skills guarantee for workers in carbon‑intensive sectors and deliver this as part of the Green Jobs Workforce Academy.

It follows the Scottish government announcing a £100 million Green Jobs Fund in its Programme for Government 2020-21, with this to be paid out over five years with an aim of supporting new and increased opportunities for green job creation across Scotland.

It builds on the country’s Green New Deal, which was first announced in the 2019 Programme and included a £3 billion Green Investment Portfolio as well as a slew of environmental policies.

This year specifically, the Scottish government is to invest £240 million in an Energy Transition Programme, which will help industry to play a leading role in the development and deployment of new, low carbon technologies as well as supporting the development of hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

This year, the Scottish government will also provide an additional £18 million for Warmer Homes Scotland to support those in fuel poverty through the heat transition, taking the total for this year to £50 million. It has also launched a second £30 million call for green heating and energy efficiency projects in social housing through the 'Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund'.

This comes as part of its commitment to invest at least £1.8 billion over this Parliament to make homes and buildings greener and easier to heat.

Transport is also on the agenda, with the Scottish government to work with the Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce to shape the journey to a greener, more efficient public sector bus fleet, with this backed by £50 million through the new Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund.

“This programme addresses the key challenges Scotland faces, and aims to shape a better future," first minister Nicola Sturgeon said in Parliament.

In November 2020, the Scottish government unveiled the Scottish National Investment Bank, announcing it would provide £2 billion in patient capital for businesses and projects in Scotland in a bid to catalyse further private sector investment in net zero goals.

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