Pushing Scot Gov to be bolder on energy and land reform
Scottish Green MSPs will use this afternoon's Holyrood debate on Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform to push the minority Scottish Government to be bolder on community energy, fracking and democratic ownership of land.
Mark Ruskell, Climate & Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife, said:
"Scotland’s natural environment is a precious asset and must be protected, yet we have heard warnings lately about the condition of many species and habitats. We need to see a joined up approach from government that recognises the benefits of a low carbon economy in safeguarding our environment while delivering jobs and prosperity.
"Our environment remains under threat from fracking and other forms of unconventional gas extraction which are incompatible with Scotland’s low-carbon ambitions. We invite ministers and SNP backbenchers to support our call for greater community ownership of renewables, so the sector's huge potential delivers local benefits."
Andy Wightman, Land Reform spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:
"While Parliament passed a Land Reform Bill earlier this year, it did not go far enough in tackling the fundamental issues of how we democratise land and use it for the common good. In this session of Parliament we must see bolder reform that sweeps away secrecy, and helps rural and urban communities own and use their land in the public interest.
"Ministers, in their motion, describe reform as vital but we need to ensure they deliver the bold measures so many people want to see. By supporting the Green amendment, Parliament can affirm that a radical programme is on the agenda."
The full text of the Scottish Greens' amendment to this afternoon's debate is:
As an amendment to motion S5M-00226 in the name of Roseanna Cunningham, (Taking Scotland Forward – Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform), leave out from "; recognises” to end and insert “and reaffirms its commitment to protecting these natural assets for today and the future; believes that securing Scotland's long-term prosperity requires the Scottish Government to have ambition, policy coherence and a focus on realising the benefits of a low-carbon economy for people in Scotland; supports ambitious action to end fuel poverty, safeguard biodiversity, deliver a step change in community-owned renewable energy; believes that fracking and other forms of unconventional gas extraction are incompatible with Scotland’s low-carbon ambitions; notes that land reform is a process of changing the legal, political, economic and fiscal relationship between society and land across urban, rural and marine Scotland, and believes that this relationship requires radical and ongoing reform to democratise land and ensure that it is owned and used in the public interest and for the common good.”