Mon 6 Jan, 2020

Derek Mackay has the power to tackle the climate emergency, he needs to accept the responsibility Patrick Harvie

Finance secretary Derek Mackay must produce a climate emergency budget if it is to win support of the Scottish Greens, the party has said.

In a letter to the finance secretary, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie warned that support of the Greens would depend on commitments to decisive action to lower Scotland’s emissions.

The letter follows a warning by the Committee for Climate Change in December that Scottish Government action in the next 12 months is “likely to determine the direction of the next 25 years”. It warns “a step change in ambition is needed” by the Scottish Government. 

Commenting, Patrick Harvie said: “The Scottish Greens have delivered real change in the budget negotiations in previous years, giving Scotland a fairer income tax system, protecting local services across the country and advancing urgent environmental priorities. This next one must go further; it must be a climate emergency budget if it is to win our support.

“The Scottish Government cannot continue to brag about its long-term targets while sitting on its hands when it comes to the transformative action needed to address this crisis. The Climate Committee’s report shows that in the areas that are devolved, there has been precious little progress, with transport emissions actually going up for four years in a row.

“The UK Government is creating a potential crisis by delaying its own budget, and the Scottish Government’s task in responding to that irresponsible behaviour is not easy. However, this must not be used as an excuse for a budget which lacks ambition for Scotland.

“Our proposals for the next Budget would see transformative investment in tackling fuel poverty, public transport and new green industries that will help tackle the climate crisis and create jobs for communities across Scotland. Derek Mackay has the power to tackle the climate emergency, he needs to accept the responsibility.”

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