Tue 11 Feb, 2020

The Greens are willing to work with the Government to introduce free bus travel for our young people and provide warm homes, but Ministers will need to wake up to the climate emergency to do that Patrick Harvie

The SNP’s ‘climate emergency’ budget is carbon-intensive and ignores expert advice on Transport policy, independent analysis from parliamentary researchers has shown.

In its budget analysis, Scottish Parliament information centre (SPICE) figures show that ministers have ignored the recent Infrastructure Commission, which advised them to shift spending away from new roads and into measures to encourage fewer private car journeys.

The Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity budget is 7% of the total spend, but will account for 11% of Scotland’s emissions.

SPICE says funding for new public transport routes and walking and cycling is “dwarfed” by commitments to road expansions.

Responding, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “Away from the SNP spin, these figures show this budget for what it is – an inadequate response to the climate emergency.

“This report shows that in high intensity sectors like transport, the Scottish Government are using the right rhetoric on climate, but pursuing a business-as-usual approach.

“We don’t have time to pretend to take this seriously. The Scottish Government could start by following the recommendations of its own Infrastructure Commission, which said that no additional capacity should be added to the road network and that we should invest to boost public transport instead.

“The Greens are willing to work with the Government to introduce free bus travel for our young people and provide warm homes, but Ministers will need to wake up to the climate emergency to do that.”

SPICE figures show the 20-21 budget has a 36% increase in estimated CO2-equivalent emissions on 2019-20, but acknowledges this also represents spending on new responsibilities over social security and agriculture. 

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