Labour must not betray voters on climate

Anas Sarwar and Sir Keir Starmer will fail future generations and Scottish communities if they fail to keep to previous commitment

If Labour goes back on its flagship £28 billion per year green investment pledge it would be a betrayal of workers and future generations, say the Scottish Greens. 

The call from the Scottish Green’s MSP for North East Scotland, Maggie Chapman, comes ahead of this afternoon’s Scottish Government debate on Investing in Scotland’s Green Economy. 

The motion calls on the UK Government to “urgently increase green investment to at least £28 billion a year to ensure that Scotland and the rest of the UK can deliver a just transition to net zero.”

It follows months of speculation about the status of the pledge, with shadow cabinet members equivocating and senior Labour sources reported as telling journalists that they are planning to drop the commitment.

Ms Chapman said: “The climate crisis is all around us, and extreme weather events are already having a devastating impact. There is an overwhelming urgency for climate action from all levels of government.

“In Scotland we are making important progress and creating thousands of vital green jobs, but there is a lot more to do. There are also severe limitations that come from the financial and constitutional constraints of devolution.

“It has been two years since Sir Keir Starmer committed to £28 billion a year of climate investment. Now he could be months away from Downing Street, and that flagship promise is constantly being diluted and undermined.

“If he is to retain any climate credibility then he must reaffirm his pledge and not back down. Anything else would be a betrayal of future generations and communities such as those I represent in the North East of Scotland, who must be at the forefront of the Just Transition.

“It is not just Keir Starmer who has a responsibility to act.

"As the Scottish Labour leader, Anas Sarwar must make it clear that he expects his party to stick to its commitment, or explain why not.

“This afternoon’s debate will be an important test. I hope that Labour MSPs take the opportunity to back calls for a future UK government to commit to the same climate action that their party is supposed to be committed to.

“With thousands of skilled workers and resources that any country would envy, Scotland can play a key role in leading Europe to a just transition that works for people and planet.”

A recent study by Fraser of Allander showed that in 2021 alone, Scottish renewable jobs grew by more than 50 per cent, with particular growth in both onshore and offshore wind and home heating.

It followed a report by Skills Development Scotland that identified a £90 billion surge in planned green investment over the next three years, creating or securing 77,000 green jobs.

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