South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour Net Zero, Energy and Transport spokesperson Colin Smyth has accused the SNP of “rank hypocrisy” for raiding energy efficiency budgets days before COP27 and in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

One year after COP26 was held in Glasgow and just days before the COP27 began the SNP government revealed plans to slash almost £133 million from energy efficiency schemes.

These schemes are designed to improve the efficiency of public buildings and help people insulate their homes, which will not only reduce emissions but drive down bills and help people stay warm.

The local MSP called these cuts “shameful” at a time when soaring energy bills are piling pressure on households in the south of Scotland, calling on the SNP to open up these schemes to boost take-up instead of clawing the money back.

Colin Smyth said: “A year ago Nicola Sturgeon promised to make Scotland a world-leader in the green revolution, but these empty promises are in tatters.

“The cost of living crisis and the climate emergency are two of the urgent challenges our country faces, but the SNP-Green government have decided to raid the funds that can help us tackle both.

“Energy bills are soaring with a third of local families living in fuel poverty. More and more people in our area are having to choose between heating and eating – but instead of helping more people insulate their homes, the SNP-Green government are gutting support schemes.

“Making these damaging cuts as COP27 gets underway lays bare the rank hypocrisy hiding behind this government’s environmental rhetoric, as well as their failure to use the powers they have to help with the cost of living crisis.”

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