Scottish Greens understand that we must reduce our reliance on fossils fuels to avoid serious climate change consequences. The latest science adds urgency to that task. We will create a fair and sustainable energy system for the future.
The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 sets targets in line with Scotland’s fair contribution to international action. But more action is required to deliver on those targets. We need to decarbonise our energy use across all sectors – electricity generation, transport, heating and industrial uses. Achieving this will require action across a range of sectors – investment in warm energy efficient homes will be a national infrastructure priority.
Energy and benefits from the renewables revolution should be shared by everyone, not controlled
only by multinational corporations. We will support Councils to create ‘local energy companies’ to
build publicly-owned renewables, earning profits to fund public services. The Green Investment Bank
will invest in public and community-owned energy schemes. We will reform the energy generation
market to support low-carbon energy and community ownership. And we will not build new nuclear
power plants because they can never be democratically-controlled, decentralised, delivered or
decommissioned without massive subsidy.
Fossil fuel industries are in terminal decline and oil prices remain volatile. We will support a fair transition of skills and investment to renewable energies and sustainable industries including onshore and off-shore wind, hydro and solar power and wave and tidal energy, as well as low carbon heat.
Scotland is home to the biggest renewable energy resource in Europe. We will set ambitious renewable energy targets and government funding will support low carbon technologies, energy storage and transport alternatives. The fossil fuel reserves we already have cannot be safely burnt. Fracking and other unconventional fossil fuel methods have no place in Scotland – to make a fair contribution to international climate change efforts we will have to leave some fossil fuels in the ground and unburnt.
Greens want to see an integrated, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable transport system for Scotland that prioritises pedestrians, people with mobility problems, cyclists, public transport users, commercial traffic and business travel and finally private car users. We would reduce demand by bringing jobs, shops, schools, amenities and leisure facilities closer to where people live and supporting affordable and high quality public transport. We will bring Scotland’s railways back into public hands when the tender is up for renewal. We will spend less on road building and more on walking, cycling and road repairs.