Patrick Harvie MSP offers alternative Green Programme for Government to create fair and clean economy

THE Scottish Government has been challenged to put a green economy at the heart of its new legislative agenda and to make sweeping changes to its proposed Climate Bill.

Scotland’s parliament returns to Holyrood today, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expected to lay out her government’s plans for this session later this week.

Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie issued a statement on the eve of its return demanding she and her cabinet colleagues look at key issues to deliver what he called a fair and clean agenda.

He said: “Ministers must be prepared to go further, and traditional SNP timidity must give way to a bolder, braver agenda. A Green Programme for Government would make the most of new devolved powers to tackle poverty and inequality and would prioritise a shift towards a clean economy that does not rely on oil and gas.

“With these ideas we will continue to push the SNP beyond their comfort zone, and challenge Holyrood’s other parties to bring forward constructive proposals.”

The Scottish Green Party’s proposals include urging the Scottish Government to step up a target for net-zero emissions, saying it should be a 100% by 2040. A number of leading environmental groups are also calling for this.

The proposed Climate Change Bill out for consultation is less ambitious, aiming for a 90% reduction by 2050.

They also want to see a complete ban on fracking in Scotland a rethink of cuts to aviation tax.

Mr Harvie said: “The SNP Government is looking for a reset. Greens are putting forward a host of ideas that could revitalise Holyrood and create a fairer, greener Scotland.

“Our approach of constructive challenge gets results, from ending benefit sanctions on devolved work programmes to rolling out support to boost vulnerable families’ incomes. Our historic budget deal earlier in the year helped local councils shelve many of the service cuts they had been forced to consider.”

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