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Experts to advise ministers on ‘fair’ solutions to decarbonising homes

Patrick Harvie said decarbonising homes will be ‘significant’ in cost, but ‘necessary’ (PA)
Patrick Harvie said decarbonising homes will be ‘significant’ in cost, but ‘necessary’ (PA)

Industry experts will advise the Scottish Government on how to effectively decarbonise homes.

An independent panel of advisers from economics, fuel poverty and strategic planning will help ministers transition to climate-friendly heating in a way that is fair for everyone, the Government said.

Patrick Harvie, minister for zero carbon buildings, said the switch will come at a “significant” but “necessary” cost.

Experts will assess exactly how much the move to climate-friendly heating will cost in Scotland, with heat pumps and communal heating considered.

Patrick Harvie
Patrick Harvie said the Government needs to find ‘fair, sustainable solutions’ to decarbonising homes (PA)

They will also investigate how the costs will be shared across the country and what the impact will be on households, particularly those on low-incomes.

Mr Harvie said: “Around a fifth of Scotland’s total greenhouse gas emissions comes from our homes and workplaces.

“We have legal targets agreed by all parties in Parliament to reduce these emissions over the next decade and eliminate them by 2045.

“The total investment required to decarbonise our homes and buildings is significant but is a necessary cost.

“We need to seek out expertise across the country in order to find fair, sustainable solutions to this issue.

“This expert panel is another example of our commitment to ensuring that we listen to a variety of opinions on how best to spread this cost equitably across the country.

ENERGY HeatPumps
(PA Graphics)

“The transition needed in our homes over the next two decades is central to our climate ambitions.

“It is an opportunity to support new industries and jobs and to do so in a way which tackles inequalities.

“This panel is another step in our goal to creating a fairer, greener future for all.”

The panel will meet for the first time on Thursday, and will then have monthly meetings before concluding to ministers by the end of the year.

Experts include Chris Birt, associate director for Scotland at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Uzma Khan, director of strategic planning and deputy chief operating officer at Glasgow University; Ann Loughrey, former chair of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel; and Jonathan Marshall, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation.