Thu 5 Sep, 2019

If the First Minister wants to adopt our language of a Green New Deal, she must also match our ambition Alison Johnstone

The Scottish Greens have called for Nicola Sturgeon to be more bold in tackling the climate emergency than her programme for government was.

At First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Green parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone asked Sturgeon if she we would transfer the billions spent on major road projects into public transport, cycling and walking, as recommended by the independent review of the government’s own clean air strategy last week.

She also asked the First Minister to bring Scotland up to the European average of 40 per cent of forest cover, compared to the poor 21 per cent reforestation target in the programme for government.

Alison Johnstone said: “The climate emergency cannot wait while the First Minister tinkers round the edges.

“In our Scottish Green New Deal we propose the hundreds of millions spent on major trunk road building and upgrades be redirected into public transport, cycling and walking. The independent review of the government’s own clean air strategy agrees.

“Instead, the Scottish Government has frozen the budget for active travel again.

“The First Minister’s target on reforestation of 21 per cent is similarly unambitious.

Reforestation is absolutely essential if we are to limit global warming. The Scottish Greens propose increasing Scotland’s forest cover to 40 per cent, which is up to the European average. At her current pace, Nicola Sturgeon wouldn’t match this for 150 years.

“If the First Minister wants to adopt our language of a Green New Deal, she must also match our ambition.”

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