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Scotland leads the way on low carbon transport

15 September 2020, 15:04 UTC 2 min read

This month, the Scottish Government has announced a number of new measures on clean transport as it continues to lead the way on low carbon mobility.

For the first time, Scotland will provide interest free loans for people to purchase used electric vehicles. This policy will help progress Scotland’s commitment to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

In addition, the government has outlined a new funding commitment of over £500 million over five years for active travel infrastructure, access to bikes and behaviour change schemes.

In a bid to improve air quality in its four biggest cities, it has also reaffirmed its commitment to introduce Low Emission Zones following the COVID-19 outbreak. The first of these has already been established by Glasgow City Council, applying initially only to buses – and the other zones in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen will be introduced by early 2022 on a new indicative timeline.

The Scottish Government is also continuing to invest over £500 million in long-term funding for bus priority infrastructure and has launched a Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme to help operators with the associated costs of moving to a greener fleet.

Scotland is now expanding its international leadership role through its support of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Community.

The ZEV Community brings together leading international government networks to accelerate the uptake of zero emission vehicles. Governments from the Under2 Coalition, the ZEV Alliance, C40 Cities and the U.S. Climate Alliance exchange insights and best practice on zero emission vehicle policies.

To date, more than 65 national, state and regional, and city governments have connected through the ZEV Community. The initiative identifies the most effective policies from around the world and has attracted government participation from across Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Australasia.

Together with the Scottish Government, these governments recognise that policies from all levels of government are needed to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles. They also understand that the faster the transition, the sooner the benefits for air quality, public health and the climate will be felt.

"I’m pleased that the Scottish Government is leading international collaboration on climate change through the ZEV Community as part of the Under2 Coalition.

“This week, as part of Scotland’s Climate Week, we’re reflecting on the responsibility that we have individually and as a country – but recognise that the scale of transformation required in responding to the Climate Emergency requires a global approach.

“Through the ZEV Community, Scotland will facilitate knowledge exchange with governments, at all levels, to accelerate progress in decarbonising transport systems, adopt zero-emission vehicles and respond to the global Climate Emergency.”

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Scottish Government

Protecting Scotland, Renewing Scotland: The Government's Programme for Scotland 2020-2021 is available on the Scottish Government website.