This is the climate emergency election – Richard Dixon. Leaflets are coming through the door, TV leaders’ debates have started and I’ve got my polling card, there must be an election on and climate change needs to be a central theme. This should have been the climate emergency election. It is our first chance to vote for MSPs and test the parties’ policies since the new Climate Act with its tougher targets, since the Scottish Government declare a Climate Emergency and since protests by 40,000 people in September 2019 called for more action to reduce emissions. It is now a covid-recovery election, but it still needs to be about creating a green, wellbeing economy and generating the green jobs we need to make the just transition out of fossil fuel production. The politicians we are about to elect will make absolutely vital decisions over the next five years which will deliver that just transition and set us firmly on the path to zero climate emissions, or they will delay the action we need and prolong our fossil fuel addition. There are already plans for a publicly-owned renewable energy company but these need to go further to include generating, not just selling, power, helping to drive a rapid growth in renewable energy in Scotland. The new government also needs to make sure that we learn the lessons of the recent past and that the manufacturing jobs associated with this growth in renewables largely stay in Scotland, helping make the just transition out of fossil fuel jobs real.
Scotsman 1st April 2021 read more »