Climate reputation will be a sham warns Harvie

The government’s reputation on tackling climate change will be branded a sham if it continues to give the fossil fuel industry the message that it should “keep on drilling” says Patrick Harvie.

Citing a report by the Committee on Climate Change at First Minister’s Question, Harvie, the Scottish Greens’ co-convener, criticised the government for its lack of action in cutting transport, agriculture, forestry and land use emissions.

Mr Harvie also warned Nicola Sturgeon that she will never transition Scotland to a low carbon economy while the SNP deems new gas discoveries by the fossil fuel industry to be an “opportunity” that’s a “very good piece of news”.

Harvie, Glasgow’s Green MSP said:

“While public transport is expensive and in many places unavailable, urban space is dominated by cars and aviation is given a free pass, transport emissions will keep going up. The Scottish Government needs to recognise that we can’t be serious about a low-carbon economy if we keep on telling Total, BP and the rest of the lethal fossil fuel industry, to just keep on drilling.

“Scotland is doing well on renewables, but this week the Greens were the only party not jumping for joy at the discovery of even more fossil fuel reserves.

“With public and scientific concern about climate change rising ever higher, the Scottish Government’s latest report card presents a very mixed picture. Scotland’s doing better than the UK, but that’s damning with faint praise, and it’s certainly not the benchmark we should be aiming for.

“The CCC report makes clear that the end of coal-fired power generation – which the Scottish energy minister wanted to delay – is masking a lack of progress in other areas, and says the strategy must now move on decisively.

“Transport emissions have continued to rise over the last five years when they should be going down and it’s unclear what the First Minister is doing to address this. Any government can list some positive steps it’s taking, but if they’re outweighed by the harm being done elsewhere, the problem still grows.”