Renewables report shows opportunity to create jobs & cut fuel poverty

Mon 10 Oct, 2016

A joint report by some of the country’s leading environmental charities, showing that Scotland can produce half of its energy across heat, transport and electricity from renewables by 2030, has been welcomed by the Scottish Greens. 
 
The Energy of Scotland report produced by WWF, Friends of the Earth and RSPB identifies the most cost effective ways to meet Scotland’s climate targets, including an objective of one in three cars, and half of all buses, being electric by 2030.
 

Blocking UCG is just the start of Scotland's energy future

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 7 Oct, 2016

The Scottish Government’s decision to ban Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is first and foremost a victory for people power. But it also speaks to the wider energy choices Scotland must face in the near future.

From the outset, the whole idea of setting undersea coal seams alight seemed like an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

Decision to rule out UCG welcome; robust planning guidance needed

Thu 6 Oct, 2016

Mark Ruskell MSP, Climate & Energy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (6 Oct) welcomed the Scottish Government's decision to rule out the use of Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) but warned that robust planning guidance will be needed to enforce the move.

In May 2014, Green MSPs brought a motion to the Holyrood chamber calling for a ban on all forms on unconventional gas extraction to protect communities and the climate, but all other parties voted against it. 

Deeply concerning NHS 24 IT system so late & over budget

Thu 6 Oct, 2016

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (6 Oct) highlighted a report by the Auditor General into IT problems at NHS 24.

The health board's failure to launch its new IT system successfully means its cost will be £131.2 million - 73 per cent higher than the original business case. The Auditor General says "there's no quick fix available."

Research underlines need for Scotland to be heard in Brexit negotiations

Thu 6 Oct, 2016

Ross Greer MSP, Europe & External Affairs spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (6 Oct) highlighted warnings from a leading economic institute that Brexit could result in Scottish wages being up to seven per cent lower, meaning a loss of up to £2,000 a year for someone on average earnings.

Green warning ahead of decision on Underground Coal Gasification

Thu 6 Oct, 2016

Anything less than an outright ban on burning coal for gas in Scotland’s seabeds will be deemed an environmental “failure” say the Scottish Greens.

A statement is expected at Holyrood today revealing the outcome of the “Review of Underground Coal Gasification”. Green MSPs are hoping that the Scottish Government follows the lead of the Australian state of Queensland in banning UCG.

Alison welcomes Parliament vote to prevent devolved benefit sanctions

Wed 5 Oct, 2016

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, tonight (5 Oct) welcomed the vote in Parliament signalling that when employment programmes for people with health conditions, disabled people and those at risk of long-term unemployment are devolved next year no benefit sanctions will be applied.

In August, the Green MSPs published research showing that unless the Scottish Government changed its approach, 13,000 Scots a year would face sanctions worth a total of around £7m.

2,500 people signed the Greens' Scotland Against Sanctions petition.

Rural Economy Secretary needs to give certainty over SRDP schemes

Wed 5 Oct, 2016

Mark Ruskell MSP, Food & Farming spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today urged Scottish Ministers to end the uncertainty facing farmers who carry out environmentally-sustainable practices.

In light of a statement from the UK Chancellor guaranteeing post-Brexit support for structural funds such as Agri-Environment & Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) funds, Mr Ruskell today asked Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing to explain when he would give details about these payments but Mr Ewing insisted that he couldn't.

Andy pledges to keep up the campaign to scrap the discredited Council Tax

Wed 5 Oct, 2016

Andy Wightman MSP, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (5 Oct) pledged to keep up the campaign to scrap the discredited Council Tax following today's attempt to put on record concerns surrounding the Scottish Government's "timid" changes.

At Holyrood's Local Government committee, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay tabled a motion recommending that Parliament agrees to increase the upper bands of Council Tax. Mr Wightman put forward an amendment, noting:

Reviving tail docking is a bizarre priority

Wed 5 Oct, 2016

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (5 Oct) expressed disappointment in Scottish Government plans to regulate rather than ban electric shock collars for dogs, and allow tail docking.