General election 2019: Scottish Greens hit out at SNP and Labour over climate emergency claims

Scottish Greens have hit out at Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn over the climate emergency.
Scottish Greens have hit out at Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn over the climate emergency.
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The Scottish Greens have criticised both the First Minister and Jeremy Corbyn for their claims about their environmental credentials.

Scottish Greens Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP said Nicola Sturgeon could not "claim the moral high ground" on environmental issues, after the First Minister today said Westminster had to "stop obsessing" about nuclear power and "get its act together" on green energy.

Speaking at a campaign event in Edinburgh's Muirhouse area, Ms Sturgeon said a large team of SNP MPs in the House of Commons would push the UK government to act on the climate emergency and said her government was "already a world leader" in tackling the issue.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon refuses to commit to ending North Sea oil production amid climate emergency

But Mr Harvie poured cold water on Ms Sturgeon's claims. He said: “If the First Minister’s world leading rhetoric was matched by her government’s actions Scotland would be well on its way to playing our part in tackling the climate emergency.

"Unfortunately the SNP, just like Johnson’s Tories, want to extract every last drop of oil from the north sea. The SNP cannot claim the moral high ground, only a month after letting BP and Heathrow airport sponsor their party conference."

The Scottish Government has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2045 - five years ahead of the corresponding UK target and Ms Sturgeon said it was "time for the UK government to match the SNP's ambition - with a Green Energy Deal which will bring about a transformational shift toward the energy schemes of the future".

But Mr Harvie added: “The Scottish Greens are the only party that has a plan to tackle this crisis; the Scottish Green New Deal, which would tackle climate breakdown and create thousands of long lasting, quality, unionised jobs. A vote for the Scottish Greens at the General Election is a vote to demand climate action.”

The Scottish Greens also criticised Jeremy Corbyn who today told activists in Glasgow that Labour was the first party to declare a climate emergency on May 1 this year.

However the Scottish Greens brought a motion declaring a climate emergency to the Scottish Parliament in March, which Labour, the SNP, Lib Dems and the Tories voted down.
A month later, on April 28, Nicola Sturgeon declared a climate emergency at her party's conference.

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

Scottish Green climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “Jeremy Corbyn is rewriting history to try and fool voters into thinking his party is serious on the climate emergency. It’s a load of cobblers.

“Every single Labour MSP voted against declaring a climate emergency when I put it to them six months ago. So did the SNP, although both did a u-turn on it a few weeks later.

“Labour have just opened a new coal mine in Cumbia. It’s vital parties become signposts rather than weathervanes on climate, and next month voters have the opportunity to hold them to account on this."