New environment minister must show leadership

Responding to the news that Richard Lochhead is stepping down from his cabinet post ahead of the reshuffle, Mark Ruskell, Rural Affairs, Environment and Food spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said:

"I wish Richard Lochhead well as a backbencher and I understand the family reasons he has given for his move.

"His successor has an overflowing in-tray of work to do. Climate change targets have been failed for four years in a row, IT systems have caused chaos for Scotland's farmers, and communities remain under threat from fracking and coal gasification. It is vital that the new minister shows leadership on climate targets, reforms our dysfunctional food supply chain to help small scale producers, and picks up the pace on unconventional gas to turn the moratorium into a ban.

"I also hope the First Minister looks at where responsibility for climate change sits in her cabinet. This really should be a senior cabinet secretary position and not left to a junior minister, as has been the case to date."