Tories and Labour challenged to stand up for the environment
Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer is calling on Tory and Labour MSPs to stand up for the environment and support the Scottish Government in tackling the climate crisis.
Mr Greer used a question to First Minister Humza Yousaf to urge that the Scottish Government back up its strong international reputation for climate action with new domestic measures, citing the Scottish Greens’ policy of removing peak-time rail fares as an example.
Peak-time rail fares will be removed for a six-month trial period from October 2nd, a pilot secured by Green MSPs in the Scottish Government.
Agreeing with Mr Greer’s call for more action to be taken, the First Minister cited a long list of measures adopted by the SNP-Scottish Greens government to tackle the climate and nature, including fresh measures announced last week as part of the Programme for Government.
The First Minister also committed to highlight the Scottish Government’s work together on a Just Transition, ‘loss and damage’ funding and fossil fuels during Climate Week in New York as a “matter of urgency” and then again at COP28.
Afterwards Mr Greer said:
“Scotland has a deserved international reputation as a leader on climate action and the response to my question from the First Minister today clearly demonstrated how the presence of the Scottish Greens in his government is contributing towards that.
“But the First Minister was absolutely right to challenge Labour and Tory politicians to end their climate hypocrisy. We’ve become wearily used to the sad spectacle of both Labour politicians and their friends in the Tory party desperately trying and failing to find fault or to block just about every climate action taken by the Greens and SNP in government.
“We could progress more quickly and effectively if we stand up to the climate crisis together and I would urge Tory and Labour MSPs to take up the invitation from the First Minister to join our climate summit.
“The Scottish Greens and SNP have proven through our cooperation in government that different parties working together is to the benefit of both people and planet. We can see the results of that cooperation in everything from free bus travel for young people and now cheaper rail fares for everyone, to record sums being invested into nature restoration, to the new jobs being created in renewable energy.
“Compare that to the UK Government’s failure to secure any new offshore windfarms this year. £2 billion in potential energy savings have now been lost along with millions of pounds of investment and hundreds.
“And Keir Starmer’s Labour have sadly abandoned the green policies they once supported, like Low Emission Zones to tackle air pollution or increased funding for climate action. They won’t even commit to revoking the hundred new oil and gas licences being issued by Rishi Sunak."
“We are willing to work with other parties to take the actions our planet needs, but we won’t let their cynical blocking tactics stop us from reducing Scotland’s emissions and tackling this crisis.”