Tue 1 Sep, 2020

Work to build a fairer and greener Scotland is welcome, but the work to do that must begin now, especially considering the urgency of the climate emergency Alison Johnstone

Nicola Sturgeon’s programme for government fails to respond to the climate emergency with the necessary urgency and scale, the Scottish Greens have said.

The Scottish Greens have campaigned for a green jobs fund, as well as for a package of measures to support tenants in the private rented sector and to end homelessness and fuel poverty. The First Minister’s statement includes modest moves on both issues, but without the scale of investment needed.

The First Minister’s statement also contained plans for a Bill for a new independence referendum, which the Greens have welcomed in the face of the UK Government’s assault on devolution.

Responding, Scottish Greens parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone said:

“Work to build a fairer and greener Scotland is welcome, but the work to do that must begin now, especially considering the urgency of the climate emergency.

“If a Green jobs fund is to have an impact, it must urgently benefit those communities that are most in need of a just transition. For example, Scottish Greens have worked closely with the communities around the Mossmorran gas plant and the Hunterston Nuclear plant, campaigning for a sustainable future for those communities. They need this support as soon as possible.

“We have questions about whether increased support for oil and gas will come with conditions to reduce extraction too.

“The Scottish Greens have also been calling for more support for tenants. While I welcome the announcement of a tenants hardship fund, £10m in loans is inadequate when half of all tenants have lost income during this crisis and are struggling.

“If Scotland is to be a fairer, greener more progressive country, the government needs to go further and faster on tackling the climate emergency and our housing crisis.”

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