Scottish Government adopts Greens’ energy manifesto pledge

Tue 24 Jan, 2017

The Scottish Greens have welcomed the government’s decision to adopt the party’s manifesto commitment of 50% of all energy use being generated from renewables by 2030.

Climate and energy spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP said this target demonstrates that fracking is not needed, and certainly not welcome in Scotland.

Ruskell went on to press the government on fuel poverty, asking how it will deliver its target for 80% of homes to use low carbon heat by 2032, given the 2025 target is just 18%.

Ministers must loosen their grip on forestry, and encourage more community ownership

Tue 24 Jan, 2017

Andy Wightman MSP, Land Reform spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (24 Jan) used a Holyrood debate to urge Scottish Ministers to loosen their grip on forestry, and encourage more community, charity and local council ownership.

A third of Scotland’s forestry is owned by Scottish Ministers and managed by the Forestry Commission, with over 90 per cent of the rest owned by landed estates and investors.

Andy said:

Supreme Court ruling confirms Scotland not ‘equal partner’ say Greens

Tue 24 Jan, 2017

The Scottish Greens have responded to the Supreme Court ruling that the UK’s devolved bodies will not have a say on whether the Westminster government can start the Brexit process.

Patrick Harvie MSP, the party’s co-convener says the decision confirms that Scotland is not an “equal partner” in the UK and that the decision to give Westminster a vote prior to triggering Article 50 will be of “no consolation” to voters in Scotland.

Glasgow MSP, Patrick Harvie said:

We've outlined a range of options for ministers to make the tax system fairer & protect council services

Sun 22 Jan, 2017

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (22 Jan) said that his party has given Scottish Ministers a range of options to use fair taxation to protect local council services, as the minority SNP government seeks support for its 2017/18 budget.

The Budget Bill is expected to be published this coming week, with the first vote in Parliament the week after.

Report raises concerns about nuclear safety

Sun 22 Jan, 2017

The Scottish Greens are urging the Scottish Government to intervene in a review of safety at the Hunterston nuclear power plant in Ayrshire after a report revealed that operators EDF plan to allow for an increase in cracking in its reactor core.

The report, by energy consultant and Safe Energy Journal editor Pete Roche, says that despite it being probably illegal under international law, the Scottish public are being given no say in an imminent UK Government decision on whether Scotland’s oldest nuclear power station can keep running longer than planned.

Brexit Report: Greer says damage is clear

Fri 20 Jan, 2017

Responding to publication of 'Brexit: What Scotland Thinks', a report by Holyrood's Europe & External Relations Committee, Scottish Greens External Affairs spokesperson Ross Greer MSP said:

Andy Wightman: Market forces that sell out our families

sla15692 Fri 20 Jan, 2017

Every time I walk along South Bridge in Edinburgh, my eyes are always drawn to a small digital sign that sits unobtrusively outside a hotel advertising that day’s daily tariff. Over time, I’ve come to realise that you can expect to pay anything from £40 per night on a midweek day in winter through to £200 per night to stay within a stone’s throw of most cultural attractions at the height of the Festival in August. Whenever I see this sign I like to think of it as a sort of economic barometer.

Scotland's economy & public health at risk from inaction on climate change

Thu 19 Jan, 2017

Today's publication of the Scottish Government's climate plan shows that ministers are not listening to expert advice, according to Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP.

The climate plan outlines how ministers intend to reduce emissions by 66 per cent by 2032 compared to 1990 levels.

Only half of recommendations for action from the independent UK Committee on Climate Change appear in the plan.

Mark Ruskell, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid-Scotland & Fife, said:

Andy highlights problems from sharp rise in properties available for short-term rent

Thu 19 Jan, 2017

Andy Wightman MSP, Housing spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (19 Jan) used General Questions at Holyrood to urge ministers to consider stronger regulations to address problems caused by a sharp rise in properties available for short-term rent.

Mr Wightman, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, highlighted that a number of his Edinburgh constituents have been affected by the growth of the sector. 

Andy said:

20mph default limit in residential areas would encourage everyday journeys by bike

Wed 18 Jan, 2017

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (18 Jan) hit out at the "tired, old, reheated" ideas put forward by the Scottish Government's transport agency as it looks set to fail its target on cycling.

The "refreshed" Transport Scotland Cycling Action Plan admits that achieving 10 per cent of all journeys by bike by 2020 "will be challenging”. The current rate is 1.2 per cent.

Mark Ruskell, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid-Scotland & Fife, said: