A National Mission with Local Impact - draft infrastructure investment plan 2021‑2022 to 2025‑2026: consultation

We are consulting on this Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan which covers the financial years 2021-2022 to 2025-2026 and outlines a coherent approach to delivering our National Infrastructure Mission and demonstrates the vital role infrastructure has to play in enabling inclusive, net zero and sustainable growth.

Chapter 5 - Theme 1: Enabling the Transition to Net Zero Emissions and Environmental Sustainability

Some achievements from our 2015 Infrastructure Investment Plan

  • The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme has awarded over £52 million of grant funding to low carbon demonstration projects across Scotland which encourage replication and wider uptake of innovative renewable technology.
  • £42 million spent annually on flood protection to properties and businesses across Scotland including the £1 billion Dundee Waterfront development.

Scotland’s world leading legislation – The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 – tightened targets to net zero for domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Interim targets are set for 2020, 2030 and 2040, for emissions reductions of 56%, 75% and 90% respectively, requiring action in all sectors.

This will require transformative action across all sectors of the economy and across society. The Scottish Government’s investment in publicly-funded infrastructure has a critical role to play in supporting the transition – committing to multiyear investments in this Plan sends a clear signal to supply chains to invest in people and technology, and help us deliver the net zero transition. But it is only a share of the effort, and cannot deliver such targets on its own. It also requires UK and international action, such as in reserved policy areas of energy and aviation. Regulation, resource investment, incentives, business and individual behaviour change all have roles to play. The forthcoming update to the Climate Change Plan will set out the full range of actions we are taking to deliver our targets.

We already invest £1.8 billion of capital each year in low carbon policies and programmes. Scottish Ministers have committed to increasing the level of spending by an additional £2 billion over the next 5 years. New schemes have already been announced in the 2020 Programme for Government that will deploy £1.6 billion of this investment.

We know that 1 in 11 homes and 1 in 7 businesses in Scotland are already at risk of flooding and, on average, around 2000 more properties will be at risk every year due to climate change. We have set out how Scottish Government will increase resilience to climate change and invest more in adaptation measures to protect our homes, businesses and places from flood risk. Investing in coastal change adaptation will help protect our natural defences which protect an estimated £10 billion worth of assets

Scotland’s natural environment is fundamental to our economy and our wellbeing. It supplies the energy and resources on which many industries depend and is the essence of our global brand. It supports our health and quality of life, providing the essentials we all need to survive and thrive, and protecting our communities from flooding and extreme weather. It plays a vital role in tackling climate change – removing carbon from the atmosphere and securing it in natural habitats. Natural areas or systems that are managed to provide multiple benefits for the environment and human wellbeing can be described as ‘natural infrastructure’.

Case Study

Glenrothes – Energy Network
In 2016, the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Programme, which is co‑funded by the European Development Fund provided £8.6 million of support to The Glenrothes Energy Network. The remainder of funding was provided by RWE and Fife Council.

The project is utilising the heat loss from the RWE biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant based in Markinch in an ambitious district heating network, which includes thermal storage and a back-up energy centre to supply low carbon heat to a wide range of customers in the centre of Glenrothes. The Glenrothes Energy Network was officially opened on the 25th April 2019. It is successfully delivering low carbon heating to Fife House complex, Rothes Halls and the sheltered housing complex at Jubilee Grove.

Theme 1: What the Infrastructure Investment Plan will deliver: 2021-22 to 2025-26

Decarbonising transport

We will aid the transformation of our surface-transport systems. We will invest:

  • Over £500 million over 5 years in active travel, the large majority of which will be for active travel infrastructure including reallocating road space in favour of walking, wheeling and cycling, encouraging active travel for shorter every day journeys.
  • £495 million towards the Programme for Government commitment to invest over £500 million in improved bus priority infrastructure to tackle the impacts of congestion on bus services, making journey times shorter and services more reliable, encouraging people to leave their cars at home and to take the bus.
  • Continue our investment to support public sector fleet alternatives to petrol and diesel vehicles.
  • Invest over £3.8 billion in the operation, maintenance and sustainable renewal of a high performing rail network for passengers and freight
  • Progress the rail decarbonisation action plan

Decarbonising heat and transforming our buildings through energy efficiency

We will reduce demand for heat through improved energy efficiency measures, removing poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty and eliminate emissions from space and water heating by 2040-45 through higher standards for new buildings, including a Net Zero Standard for new public buildings, and replacing fossil-fuel systems with renewable and zero-emission sources.

  • We will invest £1.6 billion over the next five years, including:
  • At least £95 million in a programme to decarbonise the public sector estate
  • Opening the £50 million Green Recovery Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP)
  • Up to £58 million to invest in significant energy efficiency improvements to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh
  • £25 million for zero carbon energy infrastructure and heat networks for residential and commercial premises along the river Clyde’s path
  • An additional £55 million to tackle fuel poverty to boost our existing national energy efficiency programme.

Decarbonising industry, including manufacturing

We will support industry and manufacturing to transform, overcoming private sector investment and transition challenges through:

  • A £34 million Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund for energy efficiency technologies and decarbonisation studies
  • A £26 million Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund for innovation in technology, processes and infrastructure.

We will support businesses in the energy sectors as they grow and diversify, and help attract private sector investment, including through our £62 million Energy Transition Fund, focused on the North East, and helping the wider energy sector and supply chain.

We will continuing to support and invest in the development of Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) projects in Scotland and develop, by 2022, a £5 million Carbon Capture and Utilisation Challenge Fund

Supporting a circular economy

We wish to re-think how we use and re-use materials and how we handle waste. Alongside development of a route map to reduce waste and meet out waste and recycling targets for 2025, we will invest up to £75 million to improve local authority recycling collection infrastructure, accelerate landfill gas capture and improve waste data through electronic waste tracking.

Boosting resilience and Adaptation

In support of enhanced adaptation and climate resilience as part of a green recovery, we will invest:

  • An extra £150 million in flood risk management. This uplift, complements the £42 million provided annually to Councils.
  • Almost £12 million in coastal change adaptation to help us adapt to the threat of sea level rises and protect our assets.

Investing in our natural capital

We will increase forest cover, reaching 18,000 hectares of new woodland in 2024‑25. As part of a £350 million programme, we will:

  • Invest £100 million extra for new planting. And £30 million for Forestry and Land Scotland to expand national forests and land.
  • Provide £20 million to further increase tree nursery capacity, investing in new and redeveloped facilities.

Peatland restoration has a key role in responding to climate emergency and biodiversity challenges. We will increase it by:

  • Investing £20 million per year towards our 10-year £250 million commitment to restore 20,000 ha annually, and 250,000 ha by 2030.


Email: InfrastructureInvestmentStrategy@gov.scot

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