PPPs Hampering Net Zero Ambitions – blog by Jubilee Scotland

  • 27 Jan 2023
  • Blog

Since the 1990s Scotland has been using Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to fund public infrastructure projects. This scheme – in its various forms over the years (PFI, NPD, HUB) – has emulated our throw away culture as it saddles taxpayers with expensive, low quality & short-lived buildings which create unnecessary carbon emissions every time they need to be replaced or repaired. The model brings private companies in to fund and manage our public infrastructure projects. Among many other issues, this means that private profits become a priority – limiting value for money for the taxpayer while also short-changing the environment. 

Debt justice charity Jubilee Scotland says: 

“This needs to change: if we’re to achieve our Net Zero ambitions and provide fair public services, then public infrastructure projects have to have sustainability, quality, longevity, transparency and safety at their heart.”

Scotland aims to reach net zero emissions by 2045, as part of this plan the Government has committed £1.6bn to “transform our homes and buildings over the next Parliament”. It is essential that this investment is used wisely and not necessarily just to build new infrastructure. Investing in older buildings in local communities will be key to pursuing Net Zero targets, while also having community well-being at its heart. 

PPP contractors have historically had no interest in old buildings being repaired and repurposed, as this does not promise the big financial rewards sought by these companies. However, many buildings around Scotland have stood the test of time – repairing and retrofitting them could be the most sensible and sustainable solution and may avoid the additional carbon emissions created through initial construction and replacement of PPP schools, hospitals and other public buildings.

Jubilee Scotland says: 

“Public services should be at the forefront of the Net Zero revolution, not delivering short-sighted projects with buildings that neither serve the people nor the planet. The Scottish Government needs to put duty to the people and the environment before the profits of the private sector.”

If you agree please sign the petition to abolish the use of PPPs in Scotland, calling on the Government to scrap these out-dated, failing and unsustainable models. 

Please share the petition on social media and follow @JubileeScotland on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for updates and more information. If you would like to learn more about Jubilee Scotland’s campaign please contact mail@jubileescotland.org.uk