Leading Green candidate Peter McColl today pledged to ensure full powers over fracking are handed to Scotland, along with all the other new powers promised by the Smith Commission agreement.


Campaigning in his home area of Portobello, which will be at risk if planned Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) goes ahead in the Firth of Forth, Mr McColl, the candidate for the Scottish Greens' main target seat of Edinburgh East, said:


"If I'm elected on Thursday, I'll be fighting to make sure that, at the very least, the full range of powers promised in the Smith Commission agreement are devolved quickly and in full.


"That includes full powers over fracking and other fossil fuel exploitation.


"Like so many other injustices, fracking is the result of a power imbalance. The power is held by distant, unaccountable politicians who are easily manipulated by corporate interests, while those most likely to be affected have little say.


"Greens believe in bringing decision-making as close to the people as possible. We don't just want powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament, but to Councils, and right down to local communities.


"Our Co-Convenor Maggie Chapman pioneered participatory budgeting when she created Leith Decides to give local people the final decision - not just a consultation - over how a portion of council funding was spent.


"The Smith Commission must be delivered in full, but it is only the start. Our political system is clearly rotten and remote, and I'll be arguing for a new constitution that puts power directly in the hands of communities."