The Infrastructure Commission for Scotland, established by the Scottish Government in early 2019, has today published its much-anticipated report advising on a 30-year long term strategy (the “why and what”) for Scotland’s infrastructure.
This encompasses both economic and social infrastructure, not only transport, energy, telecoms, water, waste, flood defences, housing, education, health, justice and culture but also Scotland’s natural assets. Achieving Net ‘ZERO’ carbon and inclusive economic growth are the key drivers for this report.
The Commission was also asked to provide shorter-term five-year guidance for Ministers to inform the Scottish Government’s next Infrastructure Investment Plan to be published in June 2020 alongside the second phase of the Commission’s report, on options for delivery (the “how”) of infrastructure including consideration of a Scottish National Infrastructure Company.
The 8 key recommendations of the report are:
To provide leadership and demonstrate intent, the Scottish Government should prioritise all new infrastructure investment decisions based on their contribution to the delivery of an inclusive net-zero carbon economy.
To achieve an inclusive net-zero carbon economy, the Scottish Government should put “place” at the heart of coherent, infrastructure prioritisation and planning.
3. Making the most of existing assets
Most of the underlying infrastructure that will be used in 30-years’ time already exists today. It is therefore essential that these assets are most effectively and efficiently utilised, maintained and enhanced to net-zero carbon readiness.
4. Heat and Transport
Key priorities for Scotland in reaching net-zero carbon over the next 30 years will be accelerating the decarbonisation of heat and transport.
To incentivise investment at the necessary pace and scale to meet future infrastructure requirements for Scotland, regulation will be a critical component to the delivery of a 30-year inclusive net-zero carbon economy vision.
6. Digital & Technology
Ensure every citizen, organisation and business in Scotland has the ability to access digital public services, to undertake trade and commerce and to participate in future global economic markets regardless of geographic location.
7. The role of the public
Much greater participation of the public needs to be incorporated as an integral part of infrastructure investment decision-making.
8. Independent long-term advice
To enable government, regulators and industry to make the transition to a long-term, coherent, systems wide approach to place-based infrastructure strategy and planning.
Here is a link to the full report: https://www.dropbox.com/s/znz0eu5540idxxo/FullReport.pdf?dl=0
We will provide more detailed comment in future blogs.
On January 20, 2020