An environmental organisation has called for a focus on green policies when the rebuilding process begins after the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has written to the Scottish Government with six “key principles” for moving to a low-carbon future after the pandemic.
Writing to environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham, the CCC urged the Scottish Government to push for the continuation of home working and remote medical consultations to reduce emissions.
It also wants policies that will reduce the country’s vulnerability to the problems caused by climate change to be implemented.
The CCC also pointed to work it has done in the past in identifying areas of investment where finances should be targeted, however, it is not clear what these investments are.
The Scottish Government was also urged to embed fairness as a core idea of any changes made as a result of the pandemic.
In the letter, signed by committee chairman Lord Deben and chairwoman of the CCC adaptation committee Baroness Brown, the committee writes: “The crisis has exacerbated existing inequalities and created new risks to employment in many sectors and regions, placing even greater priority on the fair distribution of policy costs and benefits.
“The response to the pandemic has disproportionately affected the same lower-income groups and younger people who face the largest long-term impacts of climate change.”
The CCC also said support given to high emitting sectors should be subject to the condition of their taking action on climate change.
Incentives for businesses acting to reduce emissions should also be boosted, it said.
Lord Deben said: “The Covid-19 crisis has shown the importance of planning well for the risks the country faces.
“Recovery means investing in new jobs, cleaner air and improved health. The actions needed to tackle climate change are central to rebuilding our economy.
“The Government must prioritise actions that reduce climate risks and avoid measures that lock-in higher emissions.”