Scottish Greens say next First Minister faces 'greatest threat we'll ever know'

·2-min read
Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie highlighted a 'huge test'
Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie highlighted a 'huge test'

THE Scottish Greens are urging the incoming First Minister to ramp up climate policy to tackle “the greatest threat we will ever know".

In light of new warnings from the 195-member Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Greens co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater said tribal party politics will not help avert the catastrophic consequences of climate change.

They are calling for unity in parliament surrounding the issue.

The World Economic Forum currently ranks failure to take action on climate change as the number one global scale risk to all people.

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said: “The IPCC will not hold back in its warnings, and the new First Minister must act by taking the kind of bold action needed to protect our country and our children from the climate storm.

“The stakes could not be higher. The decisions that our Parliament and this Scottish Government take over the next months will define whether we succeed in mitigating Scotland's role in the deadly impacts of this crisis. That is the reality of what the new First Minister will face.

“It’s a huge test for government, but also for parliament. The legal duties which Scotland has on climate change were agreed by all parties, so the onus is on all of us to step up and show how they can be met.

“This is now way beyond political tribalism which is why we are calling on the new First Minister to lead a ‘Climate Parliament’ that can focus on sustained action.”

Scotland currently produces the most renewable energy per capita of all the UK nations.

The Scottish Greens want to introduce new laws to dramatically speed up the transition in the way homes and buildings are heated.

They have also called for cheaper public transport and refocusing food production and farming to restore nature.

The Greens say action is needed to catch up to other countries who are “decades” ahead of Scotland.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie added: “COP26 in Glasgow 18 months ago gave Scotland the global stage to show leadership on climate and we have followed up with big commitments in budgets and the Programme for Government. But the next First Minister is facing the greatest challenge any of us will ever know.

“We are starting from behind. Work that some other countries began decades ago is only now beginning to ramp up in Scotland. That is why so many big decisions are now coming so quickly: on transport, home heating, food and farming and greening the economy. We have made important progress, and that has to be built upon.

“The current SNP leadership election is for that party and its members. But as soon as the dust settles on that contest, the election of a new First Minister will come with the warnings of the IPCC still ringing loudly. Any credible candidate will need to both acknowledge them and rise to that challenge.”