Scottish Government Plans 20% Cut In Car Use Within Ten Years—And That Includes Electric Cars

Many countries aim to phase out petrol and diesel cars, relying instead on uptake of electric cars, but Scotland plans to reduce motoring in general. Using both carrot and stick, the Scottish government plans to cut car use by 20% within ten years.

“We are not aware of any other country that has committed to such an ambitious transformation,” writes Scotland’s Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham in an updated climate change plan.

The plan, released December 16, was re-written after Members of the Scottish Parliament agreed that targets to cut 66% of carbon emissions of 1990 levels by 2030 should be increased to 75%.“Scotland has the most ambitious climate legislation in the world,” said Cunningham in a government statement.

“Our 2030 target of 75% reduction goes beyond what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says is needed globally to prevent warming of more than 1.5 degrees.”

Calling the revised plan “ambitious” Cunningham admitted it would involve “significant societal changes” and would be “extremely stretching.”

Critics have called the plan a “war on motorists.”

The Scottish government said it would spend £50 million to support the creation of “Active Freeways” to provide sustainable transport links between towns and cities. This is on top of £500 million for active travel—such as walking and cycling—announced earlier in the year.

The commitment to reduce car kilometers is described in the plan as a “truly world-leading aspiration,” adding that “we are not aware of any other country that has committed to such an ambitious transformation.”

On the need for U.K. and international buy-ins to the revised plan, Cunningham said:

“As we look ahead to COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, we must also remember that we need this spirit and commitment to be applied internationally.”

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