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29 May 2014

Statement: Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme

Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP): I draw members’ attention to my entry in the register of members’ interests in relation to my membership of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

On objective B3-12, on “Improving driver skills”, is the minister aware that driving 10mph slower delivers 10 per cent cash savings and 10 per cent emissions savings for only a 2 to 3 per cent average speed reduction on journeys? Will the minister commission work to identify how we might develop a response to that in a Scottish context?

The Minister for Environment and Climate Change (Paul Wheelhouse): I know that Stewart Stevenson has a long-standing, close interest in the issue. Yes, reducing speed will have a benefit in reducing emissions through fuel-efficient driving. We are enabling people to become responsible drivers, reducing emissions, not just through speed control but through other measures such as gear selection to drive more efficiently.

We have funded the Energy Saving Trust to provide 2,000 FuelGood sessions this year. We are also continuing to examine demand to ensure that we can support as many drivers as possible.

On the specific issue about whether to commission work, I will have a discussion with Keith Brown on the matter, as it cuts across his portfolio interests. I promise to raise the issue with Mr Brown to see whether there is any possibility of examining what the impact could be on our climate emission targets.

Stewart Stevenson
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