Our economic system is broken.

We have had a decade of wage stagnation, rising inequality and poverty.

Work is no longer a guarantee of security and being able to meet basic needs.

At the same time, the reliance of our economy on fossil fuels is driving the breakdown of our climate.

The Scottish Greens are calling for a Scottish Green New Deal that uses every lever available to Scotland to respond to this emergency with the transformational change that is needed.

Scotland can

  • Redirect massive investment into low carbon industries
  • Grow a world-leading low carbon manufacturing sector
  • Restore our natural environment
  • Give everyone a warm home
  • And provide access to cheap, reliable and green transport.

But to do this we have to ditch neoliberal economics for good.

At the heart of a Scottish Green New Deal is a belief that the Scottish Government can and must take a direct role, working in partnership with citizens, communities, and companies to deliver the change Scotland and the planet so urgently needs.

Please back our call for a Scottish Green New Deal now!


The Green New Deal was first proposed over a decade ago following the credit crunch. The idea was to deliver a massive mobilisation of financial resources behind renewable energy to create jobs and lift living standards. More recently, progressive Democrats in the US, led by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey, proposed a Green New Deal. This has inspired similar proposals here in Scotland, the UK and beyond. The term “New Deal” originates from the programme launched by President Roosevelt in the 1930s to lift the US out of the Great Depression. The New Deal was a series of programmes, financial reforms regulations and public investments in infrastructure such as bridges, schools, roads and parks.

The Scottish Greens have proposed an outline for a Scottish Green New Deal and over the coming year will be developing this proposal further with our members, stakeholders, the government and industry.

Principles of a Scottish Green New Deal

We need to fundamentally reform our economy so that it serves the people of Scotland and our planet, and a Scottish GND is the first step on this urgent, critical but challenging journey. For as long as Scotland is part of the UK our hands are tied because critical policy areas remain reserved to Westminster, including monetary policy and most regulation of energy, industry and company law. However there are many levers available to the Scottish Government that, if used to their full extent, can set us on a very different path to the UK. The following principles for a Scottish Green New Deal reflect these powers.

  • Rebuild the public sector – Across Europe the public sector is playing a direct role in moving towards a zero-carbon economy. Public bodies are investing, building and developing green infrastructure and technology. Scotland needs to reverse the damage of Thatcher and subsequent Labour and Tory Governments and re-build a public sector that is fully aligned behind the move to a zero-carbon economy.

  • Provide long-term certainty for the private sector – We need to work in tandem with a thriving, innovative and responsible private sector, but to do this the Scottish Government must do everything it can to provide long-term certainty to allow investment to flow.

  • Channel public and private investment to low carbon industries – From redirecting public expenditure to leveraging more private investment and building a strong public investment bank similar to those seen across the EU we can fund a low carbon revolution.

  • Regional industrial strategies and targeted support for those communities who most need it – every region across Scotland faces different challenges and opportunities if the transition to a low carbon economy is to be successful and just. A Scottish Green New Deal should be built on regional industrial strategies that are owned and developed by Unions, employers, local communities and Local Government, with support from publicly owned regional banks and delivery agencies.

Aims of a Scottish Green New Deal

1. Catalyse the transition to zero carbon energy

The Scottish Government could do so much more to capitalise on our renewable resources and skilled workforce. A Scottish Green New Deal would establish a Scottish Energy Development Agency and a publicly owned energy company that is a developer, generator and supplier, and adopt an ambitious target of 1GW of tidal power by 2030 with a view to developing a world-leading tidal industry.

2. Build a world-leading green manufacturing sector

There are already 4500 manufacturing jobs in Scotland that supply low carbon industries but there is enormous potential for growth. A Scottish Green New Deal would see regional industrial strategies developed, a national programme to develop technical skills, grant funding for manufacturing firms to retain and upskill their workforce, strict conditions for Scottish content in supply chains wherever possible, and aligning public procurement behind this goal.

3. Get Scotland moving without destroying the climate

Transport emissions continue to go up in Scotland, and are now the largest source of emissions. This has been driven by the continued promotion and growth of car use and aviation, and a decline in cycling, walking and bus travel. A Scottish Green New Deal would redirect funding away from high-carbon transport infrastructure and to public transport, cycling and walking. It would see the existing programme of city and region deals, which deliver large-scale public investment but are largely focused on road infrastructure, replaced with green city and region deals, and a massive increase in investment in the strategic growth and decarbonisation of Scotland’s railway network. Finally, we want to see a long-term target of free public transport adopted and the immediate extension of free bus travel to everyone under the age of 21.

4. Warm affordable homes

Everyone in Scotland should have a warm home that they can afford to heat, without having to choose between turning the heating on or putting food on the table. Yet 25% of households – 613,000 homes - in Scotland are in fuel poverty, 80% of which are living in inefficient homes. Current efforts to improve the efficiency of Scotland’s homes are disjoined and inadequately ambitious. A Scottish Green New Deal would centre around delivering a target of all homes reaching Energy Performance Standard C or above by 2030 and deliver a step-change in public investment in energy efficiency, including a new programme of deep-retrofits of fuel poor households and social housing using approaches like ‘Energiesprong’ that is currently being trialled in Nottingham. It would put in place the policy framework needed to catalyse massive investment in heat networks as has been seen in other northern European countries like the Netherlands and Denmark. Finally, new homes should be required to meet passivhaus or other net-zero standards, and public funding should no longer be used to subsidise high-carbon heating systems.

5. Ensure our wellbeing and build an equal Scotland

The relentless pursuit of economic growth has brought humankind to the brink of a disaster which is unprecedented in human history. Yet successive UK and Scottish Governments have pursued an agenda focused on delivering economic growth regardless of who benefits and the social cost this has imposed on society. A Scottish Green New Deal is an opportunity to challenge and break this paradigm by aligning all Scottish Government departments and agencies behind the core aim of improving Scotland’s wellbeing, making Scotland a more equal country and responding to the climate emergency. In addition, there are a range of specific actions that the Scottish Government could do as part of a Scottish Green New Deal, including using conditionality in procurement contracts and support schemes to specify suppliers that pay the Living Wage, support unionised labour, and cap senior-level pay, supporting schemes to encourage more women and under-represented groups to enter STEM careers, and creating a Union Engagement Fund for the low-carbon transition.

Want to know more? Read the report here. If you have ideas or comments of your own, let us know by emailing


Back our call for a Scottish Green New Deal

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