Sun 1 Nov, 2020

The Scottish Greens have challenged the Scottish Government to use the year leading up to COP26, the major Glasgow climate summit due to begin on 1 November 2021, to set out an “emergency response” to the climate emergency.

The party’s co-leader, Patrick Harvie MSP, has called on the First Minister to use every tool at the Scottish Government’s disposal, and go beyond simply setting targets by delivering an emergency response which helps Scotland rebuild from the coronavirus crisis, creates quality green jobs and tackles the climate crisis.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“The Scottish Government claims to recognise that we are in a climate emergency, yet its response has been sadly lacking. We need a comprehensive emergency response to tackle the climate emergency and drive a green recovery from Covid. Instead, so far, we’ve had years of missed greenhouse gas targets, and emissions in some sectors, like transport, are actually rising.

“In a year, Scotland will host the world when COP26 comes to Glasgow, and it’s vital that we are able to demonstrate the scale of our ambition, to inspire others to take bold action. But, in order for us to do that, the Scottish Government needs to get its act together, and finally deliver the world leading action it so often talks of. It needs to end its support for endless oil and gas extraction and never-ending aviation growth.

“Scotland has an abundance of renewables potential. We have the skills, the expertise and the technology to create thousands of quality, unionised, green jobs. But the Scottish Government’s much publicised failure to deliver any green jobs at Bifab, for a massive wind project just a few miles offshore from the Fife yards, demonstrates a lack of political will from ministers.

“Greens have shown how powers over the Crown Estate can be used to require offshore wind projects to support jobs in the Scottish supply chain. It’s time for the Scottish Government to step up and build the supply chain that can take advantage of the huge opportunities that are coming. This will need government to take more of an ownership stake in Bifab and other companies.

“Our deal, agreed in the budget earlier this year, to deliver free bus travel to all under 19s is due to be implemented next year and is likely to dramatically increase the number of young people and families using public transport. I’ve already called on the Scottish Government to go further and extend this concession to everyone 25 and younger.

“Increasing public transport use is essential if we are serious about tackling the rising emissions in the transport sector. The anticipated increase in demand also has the potential to provide a huge boost to domestic manufacturing, but again the government has failed to recognise this opportunity, and jobs are being cut at bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis.

“Establishing a Scottish industrial strategy with workers at its heart has the potential to deliver thousands of green jobs across Scotland; building buses, ferries, trains, delivering warm homes and transforming our energy infrastructure.

“In the year leading up to COP26 in Glasgow I call on the Scottish Government to be bold, to think differently, and to grasp the opportunity that is before us to build a better Scotland.”

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