We are ensuring that our obligations under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 are met through a range of actions. We have put in place a comprehensive package of measures to meet our world-leading emissions-reductions targets, and Scotland is now more than three quarters of the way towards achieving our 42 per cent emissions reduction target in 2020.
Our cabinet sub-committee on climate change underpins our commitment, and through our rural affairs, food and environment delivery board we are leading and co-ordinating action on climate change by our public sector partners, including on peatland restoration and forestry, in order to protect and conserve the environment.
The minister will understand that improving energy efficiency in homes is vital to tackling climate change and to reducing fuel poverty. It is therefore somewhat bewildering, in the light of the Paris climate change summit, that the Government is proposing to cut fuel poverty projects and energy efficiency projects by 13 per cent. What impact assessment was carried out on that budget proposal and its effect on meeting climate change targets and tackling fuel poverty?
Energy efficiency is a priority for the Scottish Government and has been designated as a national infrastructure priority in recognition of its importance. As we have set out before, the cornerstone of that policy will be Scotland’s energy efficiency programme, which will provide an offer of support to all buildings—domestic and non-domestic—in Scotland to improve their energy efficiency ratings over a 15-year to 20-year period. Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings is key to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, to tackling fuel poverty, to improving our energy security and to making our economy more competitive.
The detail of the energy efficiency programme still needs to be developed. We will be working with stakeholders over the next couple of years because we need to do further modelling and analysis so that we understand what is possible before we launch the new programme in 2017-18, once the powers that the Smith commission recommended are in place.