Labour accuses Greens of abandoning principles and policies

Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater have been accused of performing “screeching u-turns” on key environmental policies within a month of signing a government deal with the SNP.

The Scottish Greens have been accused of abandoning policies since entering government.
The Scottish Greens have been accused of abandoning policies since entering government.

Scottish Labour said the Scottish Green co-leaders had abandoned six major manifesto pledges since taking up ministerial office on August 31.

Monica Lennon, Labour’s net zero, energy and transport spokesperson, said the move into government by Mr Harvie and Ms Slater was “a greenwashing stunt” which benefited the SNP, but undermined any chance of a just transition for workers and communities.

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She also said they had performed a “screeching u-turn” on a public energy company and failed to oppose “attacks” on rail services and workers.

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The accusations were dismissed by the Scottish Greens as “shallow point-scoring from the sidelines.”

According to Scottish Labour since joining in coalition with the SNP, the Scottish Greens had reneged on support for the creation of a public energy company, despite a manifesto commitment to supporting local energy companies, and Ms Slater calling for the creation of such a company in June.

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They have also failed to secure a moratorium on the creation of new incinerators, failed to put the Just Transition Commission on a statutory footing, and failed to see the creation of two new national parks.

Further, the party claims the Greens have failed to push for the building of 120,000 affordable homes by 2032 and voted down Labour’s motion to oppose cuts to ScotRail services despite Scottish Green MSPs saying that they opposed them just last month.

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Ms Lennon said: “We are in a climate crisis and the need for radical environmental action could not be greater.

“A just transition that secures fairness and opportunities for workers and communities is essential, however, the SNP deal with Harvie and Slater will be remembered as a greenwashing stunt ahead of COP26 that was built on broken promises.

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“From the screeching U-turn on a public energy company, to failing to oppose attacks on rail services and workers, the Scottish Greens have sold-out and are helping the SNP to do away with vital climate-focused policies.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said as part of the government, the party was “accelerating £1.8bn investment in warm homes and low carbon buildings, doubling Scotland’s capacity for onshore wind to pave the way for a just transition and shifting the focus of transport policy towards public transport and active travel. We are delivering at least one new national park, even if Labour expected it in three weeks.”

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He hit out at Labour’s re-admittance of nine Aberdeen councillors who, he said with the Conservatives were pursuing plans to build a huge incinerator and signed a deal with fossil fuel giants BP to lead work on a transition.

“Now the Scottish Greens are in government we can focus on the most effective model of publicly owned energy as promised in our manifesto and help build a people’s railway when the Scotrail franchise is brought into public hands. Labour are welcome to play a more constructive role in this progress towards a greener Scotland, but it seems they are more interested in shallow point scoring from the sidelines.”

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