Scottish Greens only party taking climate crisis seriously, Patrick Harvie says

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Patrick Harvie has accused the Scottish and UK governments of taking a "business as usual" approach to tackling the climate emergency.

The Scottish Greens co-leader claimed his party is the only one to recognise the emergency of the situation, and said the climate targets currently set out are not sufficient.

The Green party had called for the target to be increased to 80%. Picture: PA

The Green party had called for the target to be increased to 80%. Picture: PA

It comes after MSPs in September voted to back the Scottish Government's Climate Change Bill, which commits Scotland to a 75% cut in emissions by 2030.

Mr Harvie's party had called for the target to be increased to 80%.

He said: "The Scottish Greens are the only party that is taking the climate crisis seriously.

"The Scottish and UK governments both claim to recognise the urgency of the climate crisis, but their business as usual actions tell a different story.

"We are the only political party that recognises that we are in an emergency situation and has actually produced an emergency response.

"Far flung targets might be good enough for the Tories and the SNP, but Greens recognise that bold action is required now if we are to heed the warning of the climate strikers."

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Mr Harvie was speaking as a report published by the New Economics Foundation suggested a transition to a zero-carbon economy would be a "major opportunity" to re-energise manufacturing in Scotland and create "thousands of well-paid, lasting and unionised jobs".

The Glasgow MSP also said a transition fund must be established to support workers to retrain.

"Our Scottish Green New Deal shows how we can rebuild our public sector to support the communities that have been so badly let down in the past," said Mr Harvie.

"Thatcher's government ripped the heart out of many of these communities by shutting down industry without a thought for the workers involved. This cannot be allowed to happen again.

"This report sets out how we can re-energise the manufacturing industry in Scotland using the opportunity presented by the global transition to a zero-carbon economy, and how workers can be put at the heart of these plans.

"This is our opportunity to create thousands of well-paid, lasting and unionised jobs.

"That's why we're calling for a just transition fund which would support workers currently employed in polluting industries to retrain and re-skill for the transition to a zero-carbon economy."

Transition for communities and workers central to decarbonisation

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Ensuring a just transition for communities and workers is central to our plans to tackle the global climate emergency.

"The Climate Change Act, which just recently received Royal Assent, includes a set of just transition principles which government must consider when setting out its plans to decarbonise the Scottish economy.

"We have also established a just transition commission to provide independent advice on how we can maximise the opportunities associated with meeting our climate change targets, while managing the risks."