Our Common Future | Our Economy and Infrastructure

A Green Economic Recovery

The fallout of the financial crisis in 2008 and the current economic shock of the pandemic have demonstrated the deep shortcomings of conventional economics and the pursuit of endless economic growth.

As we rebuild our economy, we have the opportunity to build a new Scotland, focused on one simple goal: everyone should have what is essential for a good life whilst living in a society that respects planetary boundaries.

We will not be able to get all the way to this goal in just five years, but the decisions we make now will reshape our common future for decades to come.

Green Impact

Scottish Green achievements in the last 5 years include:

  • Fairer income taxes so most pay less while those who can pay more
  • Passed laws to prevent tax dodgers from being given public support during the pandemic
  • Protected public sector jobs by securing over £500m for local services

A Green Infrastructure Investment Plan

Investing in green infrastructure will play a key role in a green recovery, creating jobs and building the infrastructure Scotland needs to tackle the climate emergency. Given the UK and international consensus that we should be pursuing an investment-led recovery, significant additional funding should be made available over the next five years.

For as long as Scotland is part of the UK, all infrastructure investment should be devolved. This means the UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund in Scotland should be directed by the Scottish Parliament, allowing this funding to focus on delivering a fairer greener recovery.

The Scottish Greens are proposing a detailed green infrastructure programme for the next five years, drawing on at least £7.5bn in public investment to create over 100,000 green jobs.

Over the duration of the next Parliament we will invest:

A New Deal for Workers

As a nation, we are indebted to the supermarket workers, teachers and school staff, carers, nurses and and doctors, hauliers, delivery drivers, refuse collectors, and every other worker who stepped up when the pandemic hit last year and kept this country going. These workers have always been the backbone of our communities, but too many are still on low pay, zero-hour contracts, working in difficult conditions and now with the ever-present risk of contracting covid at work. Meanwhile, the rich got richer. The top fifth wealthiest in the UK saved an additional £23bn over the first three months of lockdown alone.

Building a green and fair economy starts with a new deal for workers. The Scottish Greens have published detailed proposals setting out how the UK and Scottish Governments can deliver this new deal. At the UK level, this includes raising the minimum wage to establish a real living wage, introducing additional protections against wage theft, expanding the coverage of statutory sick pay (SSP), and increasing it so that it pays at least the real  living wage. For as long as we are in the UK, we will seek the devolution of these powers and will issue a formal request to UK Ministers to legislate in these.

Using existing powers, we will:

Gender Equality and a Green Recovery

The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women and set back progress on gender equality. As women are more likely to work in low-paid jobs they are likely to experience greater economic and domestic disruption. Similarly, the gender biases in Scotland have meant women often taking on more unpaid care work, which has in turn been exacerbated by the need for school and childcare closures. A green recovery must have gender equality at its heart, and in the next Parliament we will work to incorporate Engender and Close the Gap’s Gender & Economic Recovery Principles.

An Expanded Jobs Guarantee

In 2016 we argued for a Scotland Guarantee of an offer of work, education or training for all young people aged 16-25, recognising the importance in investing in the future of our young people. Whilst it took the coronavirus pandemic for the Government to adopt our approach, we believe this will be transformative for many young people in the years ahead.

A guarantee of work, education or training opportunities will be core in the just transition to a green economy. Over the course of the next Parliament, the Scottish Greens will expand the Young Person’s Guarantee to all under 30 and to those who work in fossil fuel industries.

An Industrial Strategy and Re-energising Scottish Manufacturing

Around 190,000 people are employed in manufacturing in n Scotland, producing half of the nation’s exports.

However, the sector is in historic decline in Scotland and across the UK. Approximately 4,500 of these jobs supply the low carbon industries, particularly renewable energy, where there is enormous potential for growth.

This growth will be delivered through our investment plans and underpinned by a green industrial strategy, taking an interventionist approach to building the skills, workforce and demand that will together create a world-leading green industrial sector in Scotland.

We will:

Support Good Business

Over a million Scots work for small and medium- sized businesses, and we all rely on these businesses for vital goods and services. Rebuilding our economy after the pandemic, tackling the climate emergency and building a fairer Scotland all depend on businesses doing their bit and getting the support they need. The Scottish Greens will ensure businesses are supported and incentivised to behave in an environmentally-sound and socially-just way.


We will:

Manifesto Chapters