National investment bank must drive net zero efforts and empower local government

The new Scottish National Investment Bank must drive efforts to tackle the climate emergency and local government must have a stake, the Scottish Greens have said.

In the first debate on new laws to establish the institution, Scottish Green local government and communities spokesperson Andy Wightman called for the proposed law to have more vision, by placing its mission to fund a transition to net zero on the face of the bill.

He also called for councils to have a stake in the bank.

Andy Wightman said: “Given the First Minister said that tackling the climate crisis would be the Scottish National Investment Bank’s ‘primary mission’, it’s important we see that reflected in the wording of this bill.

“It must be the absolute statutory priority of this bank to invest in the herculean change we need to see in our economy if we are to tackle the climate emergency in the next ten years.

“Furthermore, the German public development bank is 80% owned by the Federal Govt and 20% by the states.

“Given the vital role that local government plays and will continue to play in tackling the climate crisis and promoting economic development, councils should have a stake in this bank.

“The Climate Bill was disappointing because it committed to no radical or transformational action to lower our emissions. This bill is an opportunity for the Scottish Government to turn its rhetoric into action.”