MSPS have called on the SNP to fork out more funding to kickstart a green recovery from the pandemic – while ministers have been told to "co-ordinate and finance a sufficiently large investment stimulus" from Boris Johnson's government.

The Scottish Government has committed to harnessing a low carbon economy as part of the economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and has also committed to the country becoming carbon neutral by 2045.

Ministers will publish their now delayed updated climate change plan by the end of the year.

But MSPs on Holyrood's Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee have warned that the Scottish Government's £200 million low carbon funding commitment in next year's budget "falls short of the level commensurate with the demands of securing a green recovery".

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The cross-party committee of MSPs has pointed to Scotland's financial relationship with the UK in which the government can only borrow up to £450 million of capital funding a year – warning that the money needed to bring about a green recovery "cannot be created solely within the current fiscal framework".

Instead, the MSPs have recommended that "the Scottish Government also works with the UK Government in order to co-ordinate and finance a sufficiently large investment stimulus".

The committee has recommended that a green recovery route-map is drawn up with clear timelines, responsibilities for delivery across all parts of the public sector and clear delivery plans for each sector.

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A new report, published by the committee today, also calls for an increased commitment and front-loaded cash as part of the recovery from Covid-19.

Despite the financial constraints, the committee has warned that the level of funding put up by the Scottish Government is inadequate to meet its ambitions.

The report says: "Examples include ambitions to net-zero, but only 36 per cent of infrastructure spend over the next five years is to be low carbon.

"This begs the question as to whether the remaining 64 per cent infrastructure spend brings Scotland closer to its public objectives or pushes it further away, and whether it complements or cancels out the 36 per cent spent on specifically low-carbon interventions."

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As part of evidence gathered by the committee, climate expert at Edinburgh University, Professor Dave Reay called for "a halt to major road expansion plans" with funding diverted to support sustainable infrastructure projects such as rural broadband.

Committee convener, Gillian Martin said that the climate crisis and the pandemic has confronted the Scottish Government with a "whole system challenge never witnessed before".

The Herald: Committee convener Gillian MartinCommittee convener Gillian Martin

She said: "Scotland must use this impetus, and the opportunities presented in both the Budget 2021-22 and the climate change plan update, to create a net-zero emissions economy.

"So much needs to be done and done now. We need to capture and lock in positive behaviours, front-load investment in low-carbon solutions and build resilience through valuing nature more.

"We need to tackle the implementation gap, where solutions have already been identified but not applied, and deal with policy incoherence, where parts of government, and the wider public sector, are not working collaboratively."

Ms Martin added: "Underpinning this, we must focus on people, innovation, skills and jobs. Financial support for a green recovery must also be significantly increased, front loaded and be conditional on delivering national outcomes around the climate and biodiversity emergencies.

"Our committee took onboard extensive evidence during the inquiry and our recommendations should provide a solid springboard for the swift action needed to deliver a truly green recovery for Scotland - a recovery where no-one is left behind."