The Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Sustainable Transport calls for the Government to take urgent action to decarbonise Scotland’s public transport Network.
For Scotland to be self-sufficient and a net exporter of alternative fuels the report finds that a country-wide transition to zero-carbon buses, trains and ferries is needed.
The ‘Fossil Free Future’ report published on November 28 outlines the Group’s inquiry into the Governments plans for cutting emissions from public transport. The motivation behind the inquiry was due to concerns regarding the progress against the Government’s climate targets falling behind.
CPG convenor Graham Simpson MSP (Conservatives) said: “Public health, air pollution and the economy stand to gain from zero-carbon public transport - but it also has a role to play in attracting new passengers to rail, bus and ferry.
“Concerns exist around cost barriers associated with pursuing fossil-free alternatives - however, our report warns that costs must not be passed on to users if we are to build a thriving public transport network in Scotland.”
In addition to improving air pollution and public health, the report highlights that decarbonising Scotland’s public transport fleets will allow Scotland to capitalise on its wealth of renewables and establish local climate-friendly fuel supply chains.
The report sets out recommendations that the Scottish Government should consider in light of its legally binding target to be net-zero by 2045:
* Incentivise the purchase of zero-emission buses by introducing an enhanced Network Support Grant (NSG) rate for their use.
* Put in place a rolling programme of rail electrification as part of a refresh of Transport Scotland’s Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan.
* Make the presumption that, where possible, all new ferries procured should be plug-in electric.
* Use the Scottish Government’s planned bond issue to finance investment in zero-carbon public transport infrastructure.
* Ensure the Scottish Government’s forthcoming ‘Green Industrial Strategy’ facilitates the development of local renewable energy sources which can be used to power Scotland’s future vehicle and vessel fleets.
To read the report in full, click here: https://transform.scot/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Fossil-Free-Future-CPG-Sustainable-Transport-2023-11-28.pdf