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Poor Scotland: Climate Target ‘Could Cost £8Bn’

The cost to the taxpayer of meeting Scotland’s climate change target has been put at about £8bn by 2020.

The costs would include changes to energy and transport use by public service workers, and adaptation of public buildings.

The figures were given to the Independent Budget Review Panel by the Scottish government.

Scotland has set one of the world’s most ambitious targets for cutting emissions.

The Climate Change Act passed by Holyrood last year aims to reduce carbon emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

But BBC Scotland business editor Douglas Fraser said there was no estimate of what the targets would cost the government – or business, home-owners or drivers – when MSPs voted for the legislation.

The Scottish government has now said the cost to public services alone will be, very roughly, £8bn over the next 10 years, and that it will give more detail on its implementation plan this autumn.

That figure is more than a quarter of one year’s Holyrood budget, at a time when public services are facing their own unprecedented cuts, and when capital spending is facing a particularly harsh squeeze.

BBC News, 2 August 2010