Patrick Harvie, Scottish Green MSP for Glasgow and a member of Holyrood's economy and energy committee, today prompted agreement from union leaders that a managed transition from oil and gas jobs to decommissioning and renewables is urgently needed.
At today's committee meeting, Mr Harvie raised the employment opportunities from decommissioning in the North Sea and the economic danger of unburnable fossil fuels highlighted by the Governor of the Bank of England as reasons to embrace a faster shift of direction.
Jake Molloy of the RMT said he completely agreed and "we've got to do it now", while similar views were expressed by STUC Assistant Secretary Stephen Boyd and Tommy Campbell of Unite.
Patrick Harvie MSP, the Scottish Greens' economy and energy spokesperson, said:
"It speaks volumes that the union leaders representing the workforce understand the need for a managed transition sooner rather than later, whereas we heard that the Scottish Government's own economic advisers have yet to grasp the issue. We really need to pick up the pace on planning for the jobs of the future, and it's welcome to hear enthusiasm from the unions for this approach.
"Research already carried out for the Green MSPs shows how a planned transition away from oil and gas extraction and towards decommissioning, renewables, green chemistry and energy efficient housing could create over 200,000 jobs and provide the stability our economy needs. Scotland can have good jobs for the future if we start work now on ending our reliance on a declining resource but investment and leadership are needed urgently or we'll end up watching those jobs go overseas."