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Greener and cleaner communities

Our plans will accelerate action to tackle climate change to meet Scotland's climate targets. They are among the strongest in the world because of the work done by Scottish Liberal Democrats to lift ambitions. What happens in the next five years will decide if they are met.

We will think global and act local to help achieve net zero and nature recovery. We will:

  • Establish local Climate Change Committees and Just Transition plans.
  • Commit to cut energy use across local authority buildings.
  • Plant more trees and community orchards through a "tree for every citizen" initiatives focused on native species.
  • Encourage rewilding and reduce the use of damaging weedkillers.
  • Make sure access to green, open spaces, wildlife corridors and woodland are available to every community.
  • Protect greenbelts and gaps between settlements for the long-term benefit of local communities, the climate and nature, including through a brownfield-first approach to planning.
  • Preserve parks and playing fields as important community green space.
  • Deliver clean local environments.
  • Support the Scottish Liberal Democrats' campaign for the creation of a new restitution order, the proceeds of which would help victims with the costs of clearing up fly-tipping and increase efforts to catch tippers.
  • Support substantial measures to reduce waste and embrace the development of a circular economy.

Scotland's transport is where the least amount of progress has been made in cutting emissions. We will:

  • Make electric vehicle charging points a priority in our green transport plans and expect new developments to include charging points as standard.
  • Introduce a robust presumption that new council vehicles are electric, reducing emissions and giving the public sector a stake in maintaining the charging network.
  • Integrate the concept of 20-minute neighbourhoods into planning to bring most of what people need in daily life within a short distance, reducing the need for travel.
  • Review closed railway lines and campaign for the reopening of feasible routes.
  • Promote community car share schemes, demand responsive transport and community transport schemes.
  • Use the powers and influence of local authorities to support transport integration, affordable tickets, and to ensure it delivers economic opportunity and equity.
  • Campaign for new local powers to integrate all forms of transport and to control local bus services. Regional transport partnerships should have the power to set routes and timetables, ending Margaret Thatcher's deregulation so that services suit passengers rather than bus company owners.

To help people be active and to improve the lamentable condition of Scotland's roads, gullies and pavements, we will:

  • Commit resource to tackling the chronically poor condition of local roads and pavements to make them safer for walking, wheeling, cycling and driving, improving the quality of repair to resolve issues first time around.
  • Declutter streets to assist visually impaired and disabled people.
  • Develop a Safe Routes strategy and incorporate modern streetscape design with separate spaces for cyclists, walkers and motorists to keep them all safe.
  • Plan so that every child has done their cycling proficiency test by the end of primary school.
  • Support measures to make travel to school more child-friendly, reduce congestion at school gates and aim to reduce car travel to school by more than 10%.

We will build climate-friendly new homes, keep people warm and reduce household energy costs. We will:

  • End the installation of fossil-fuel based heating systems in new homes, make district heating the normal choice for new developments and expect the highest energy and insulation standards.
  • Support a major retrofit programme in existing housing, declare insulation a priority and focus on households struggling with costs as part of our aim to end fuel poverty.
  • Back local combined heat and power projects and expect developers to co-operate on these initiatives.
  • Support the Scottish Liberal Democrat plan to insulate you and your home from the cost of living crisis. This includes an emergency nationwide home insulation programme, doubling and expanding the Winter Fuel Payment and Warm Home Discount, and a one-off levy on firms that have made super profits from the soaring energy prices.