ANAS Sarwar has put upgrading the efficiency of homes and tackling fuel poverty at the centre of Labour’s climate emergency plans.

The Scottish Labour leader has set out his strategy for averting the climate crisis, insisting the COP26 climate conference, due to take place in Glasgow later this year, is a “once in a generation opportunity to lead by example”.

Mr Sarwar wants to provide grants to low and middle income households and interest free loans of up to £18,000 for others to pay for upgrades to homes to make them more energy efficient.

The party also wants to establish a “statutory just transition commission” to ensure workers do not get left behind in the move to net zero, with MSPs committed to reducing 1990 levels of carbon by 75% by 2030 on the way to the ultimate target by 2045.

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Labour’s blueprint also includes establishing the “Scottish Energy Development Agency” to coordinate the growth in the renewable energy industry and has pledged to “only sign new contracts for offshore wind farms when a plan for supply chain manufacturing was in place and conditions on job creation in Scotland were met”.

The party has also committed to increase spending on active travel infrastructure to 10% of the overall transport budget, which it says will give “priority to encouraging and enabling people to get out of their cars and onto bikes and walking”.

Labour is also looking to extend the policy of free bus travel for those under the age of 22, agreed by the Greens and SNP in this year’s budget, to the age of 25 – as well as “invest in the manufacture and widespread introduction of accessible green buses”.

The party’s climate recovery plan also pledges to plant at least 15,000 trees a year, use the procurement power of the Scottish Government to reduce climate emissions and establish a Scottish Conservation Corp dedicated to restoring Scotland’s natural environment.

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Mr Sarwar said: “Climate change doesn’t know any borders, so we are on the side of anyone who thinks that our environmental recovery is more important than egos or old arguments.

“I am an environmentalist and I want the focus of our next parliament to be on averting the climate emergency.

“Later this year, Glasgow will host COP26 and the eyes of the world will be on Scotland, that is a once in a generation opportunity to lead by example.

“I want Glasgow to be synonymous with world leading action on climate change - for history to look back at a world saved by an agreement struck in my home city.

“But the first step we must take is to ensure that we are doing as much as we can, here at home, to make our contribution."

He added: “We will put our climate - and the opportunities for our economy it presents - at the heart of our campaign. It means confronting the climate emergency, and the threat it poses to our very survival, head on.

“But also ensuring that we create well paid jobs to ensure that the Scots see the benefits of going green in their wallets, as well as in our environment.

“Scotland needs a parliament focused on a recovery that tackles climate change - not more division.”