Audit underlines urgent need for climate action

The Audit Scotland report on climate action shows the urgent need for all parties to prioritise our environment.

The Scottish Greens say an Audit Scotland report urging a speeding up of efforts to tackle climate change should be a warning to opposition parties not to stand in the way of action.

Currently Scottish Labour and the Tory Party are undermining efforts to bring in a Deposit Return Scheme and Highly Protected Marine Areas. The UK government has given its full throated support for extending oil and gas extraction in the North Sea.

By contrast, Scottish Greens in Government have called for a halt to new oil and gas licences and a Just Transition to renewable energy, while delivering a boost to public transport to shift people out of cars and aircraft, record funding for biodiversity and nature restoration, and a huge increase in investment for walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure.

The Party's climate spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP, said:

“There is no hiding place for politicians over climate. It is up to all of us to grasp the seriousness of the crisis and work together for the protection of all those we serve.

“Nobody can deny that we need to protect our seas, that we need to create a circular economy, transform our energy supplies and completely reimagine our transport solutions. Yet Labour and the Tories are conspiring against these most vital of actions. 

"Whether it is the deposit return scheme or highly protected marine areas, these are tried, tested and simple solutions that have worked in other countries. 

“Those who are actively working against those aims are in effect handing a death sentence to future generations with their stubborn political ambition.

“Rather than standing in the way of climate action, instead of using sleight of hand to further their ambitions for power at Westminster, they should be putting people and planet first and working with governments across all nations to tackle the greatest global threat we will ever face. 

“We are approaching two years of Scottish Greens being part of the Scottish Government, and are already seeing encouraging green shoots of our efforts to lead a fundamental recasting of Scotland’s climate ambitions.

“Which is why we welcome the Auditor General’s report. They recognise the evolution. But we need a climate revolution - which is why we are taking action and delivering the changes that will protect our communities against reckless inaction. 

“As it stands Scottish Labour and the Tories simply cannot be trusted on climate. If they want to change that, they should work with us on delivering the generational changes we need, rather than standing in the way for short term political convenience.”