Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has outlined her government’s commitment to addressing climate change and modernising infrastructure in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2016-17.

The programme states that the government is “acting to protect our assets and decarbonise our economy”, with the Scottish Government’s commitment to addressing climate change set to be a prominent theme in this Parliament.

According to the programme, the government will publish its climate change plan and an accompanying energy strategy this winter. It will outline its intention to reduce Scottish emissions by 80 per cent between 1990 and 2050. In early 2017, proposals for a new Climate Change Bill will be set out.

The Scottish Government said it will continue to modernise infrastructure, ”driving substantial improvements in our transport, energy, digital and water networks”.

The programme states that another £20 billion will be invested in public infrastructure, with the aim of boosting long-term productivity growth, supporting decarbonisation and providing “vital” support for our construction and service sectors.

The investment in infrastructure will “bring direct benefits” to communities, with more than £3 billion for affordable housing supply over the Parliament.

The Strategic Transport Projects review will be reviewed, in alignment with the National Planning Framework to enable a comprehensive review of national infrastructure priorities.

The programmes states that the government will invest more than £572 million this financial year in the affordable housing supply programme.

Local authorities have been allocated a share of £406 million grant subsidy to deliver more affordable homes for 2016-17.

This reaffirms a previous commitment to deliver 50,000 homes, 35,000 of which have designated as affordable.

Following the planning review and the government’s immediate actions in response, a Planning Bill will be bought forward early in the Parliamentary session. This, according to the programme, will maintain the government’s “strong, high-performing system that enables housing and infrastructure delivery and supports quality of life of all our communities by promoting quality of place and the public interest”.

The programme also details that a Forestry Bill will ensure the Scottish Government has control of all aspects offorestry and introduce new arrangements for its governance, development, support and regulation.

Additionally, the bill facilitates the establishment of a forestry and land management body which will focus initially on the development and management of the Scottish Ministers' National Forest Estate.

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Scotland can be found here.

Source: The Planner

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