The Scottish government will increase the Low Carbon Transport Loan Fund from £8 million to £20 million - enabling more businesses and individuals to make the switch to electric and other ultra-low emission vehicles, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Tuesday.
Sturgeon made the announcement in her Program for Government speech at the Scottish Parliament.
"Last year, I announced that Scotland would aim to remove the need for new diesel and petrol cars by 2032. We will now make further progress towards that goal," Sturgeon said, adding the government would invest £15 million to add a further 1,500 electric charge points in homes, businesses and council premises across the country.
"And over the next year, we will add 500 ultra-low emission vehicles to public sector fleet," she said.
The first minister also underlined the importance of ensuring "environmentally sustainable" economic growth.
"Many of our actions will help us to meet the targets set out in the new Climate Change Bill, which will progress through Parliament in the coming year," she said.
Sturgeon noted that Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions had almost halved since 1990 and would reduce by at least 90 percent by 2050.
"Achieving that target will mean that Scotland will be a carbon neutral country by 2050 – we will have no net emissions of carbon dioxide," she said.
"I can also confirm our firm intention to move towards net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases - not simply carbon dioxide - as soon as we credibly can," she added.
Sturgeon also hailed the Scottish government's 2050 target as "the most ambitious anywhere in the world that is based solely on domestic actions, rather than relying on paying other countries to reduce emissions for us".
She described the transition to a low carbon economy as an "overwhelming moral imperative" but also as a huge economic opportunity.
"And we are – by any reasonable benchmark – a global leader in living up to our international obligations. This program for government will build on that record," she said.
By Hale Turkes