This is climate action for today, for tomorrow, for the future - for everyone

Scottish Greens Co-leader Patrick Harvie said the action taken in the Programme for Government will reset the nation's economy based on jobs of the future.

Work tackling the climate and nature crisis is entering a critical new phase that will need people all across Scotland to be part of a national effort to protect our planet say the Scottish Greens. 

Plans to develop Scotland’s economy sustainably with greener jobs and investment in environmental technologies in the coming year will build on two years of vital work already undertaken since Scottish Green ministers came into government. 

This is starting to happen with steps to cut carbon emissions while protecting and restoring Scotland’s biodiversity with a record nature fund and new national park while changing everyday habits.

That focus on climate by the Scottish Government, thanks to the cooperation deal between the Scottish Greens and Scottish Government, is in stark contrast to that of Westminster where the Tory government has reigned back on sustainability and the Labour Party have followed suit for fear of offering any kind of meaningful change. 

Scottish Greens Co-leader Patrick Harvie said:

“Generations of political leaders have failed to prioritise and take action on climate and nature. What we are doing now will define the future for generations long after we are gone, which is why we have to get it right. 

“This is climate action for today, for tomorrow, for the future - for everyone.” 

“We want to build an economy based on jobs of the future, on clean technologies, solutions for the problems of today and the threats of tomorrow. We want to help people in building careers, to have a work life balance and play a positive part in society. 

“That can only happen if we are prepared to put in the hard work now, to work together, and for society to accept that many things need to change to ensure our very survival, from how we travel and heat our homes, to where our food comes from and respecting our environment. 

“People won’t be left to do this alone. It is our duty to help people understand how they can play a part and to put support in place to help. That’s why this is such a critical phase in our history. But we can and must be better at doing that, because this has to involve everyone.”

Renewable energy, especially around wind, is just one example of where well paid jobs are being created under the Scottish Government’s action plan. Those will be accelerated with changes in planning rules, halving how long submissions can take for decisions to be made. 

New support for Scotland’s growing solar energy industry and working with energy business and supply chains across the board, including in training and education, will offer career choices to skilled workers and school leavers. 

Making homes and our businesses warmer, smarter and cheaper using less energy, reducing our throw away culture by reusing more things, and investing in new technologies will play a central role in Scotland’s move away from old habits.

Ensuring trains and buses are more reliable and cheaper to use than cars and planes is one way to get people out of more polluting forms of travel. Making cycling, wheeling and walking safer and easier is another proving more and more popular. 

Planting more than 2100 football pitches worth of new trees, restoring peatland that together would cover an area larger than the isle of Rum, and paying farmers to switch to land use that helps nature and cut emissions are tangible proof of action.

Longer term plans such as Scotland’s already internationally acclaimed Biodiversity Strategy, setting legally binding targets for nature recovery in the Natural Environment Bill, and agreeing new community led marine protection areas will also move forward.

Mr Harvie added:

“Political rivals attacked the Scottish Greens before the ink had even dried on the deal that brought us into government. But despite that, we have achieved so much thanks to the strength of our partnership and climate leadership with colleagues.

“It is because of this that the First Minister could stand up with confidence today in setting out how the climate crisis runs as a priority all through his first Programme for Government. It is why he has called on all parties to play a part in tackling the greatest threat of our lives.

“We have seen how Westminster has blocked climate action over the deposit return scheme which looks like its been kicked into the long grass for the UK, how the Tories contradicted themselves over marine protections, how Labour has rolled back over green investment and low emission zones, and how both seem wedded to the interests of the fossil fuel industry. 

“Our work for the benefit of people and planet is bringing a new generation onto buses and trains, transforming our day to day lives for the better, and ensuring cleaner and greener jobs of tomorrow. Or things like Community Climate Action Hubs helping local people come together and play their part in this national effort.

“It will be the action that we do or don’t take now that future generations will remember us for.”

Mr Harvie’s comments come as the Scottish Government has published its Programme for Government and just days after the First Minister, Humza Yousaf, has called for all parties to come together to work on long-term climate strategy.



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