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by Jenni Davidson
29 August 2019
Scottish Greens unveil proposals for a ‘green new deal’ to reduce emissions and grow economy

Scottish Greens unveil proposals for a ‘green new deal’ to reduce emissions and grow economy

Scottish Greens co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater - Image credit: Scottish Greens

The Scottish Greens have unveiled proposals for a ‘green new deal’ to transform Scotland’s economy and tackle climate change.

Public and private money must be leveraged, while building up the green manufacturing sector and providing funding certainty, according to the strategy unveiled by the Scottish Greens.

The 12-point plan – modelled on Franklin D Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ to stimulate growth and lift America out of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but with a focus on the low-carbon economy – proposes using the power of the state to reduce emissions as well as tackling the problems of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

The Greens want the Scottish Government “rebuild” the public sector, including using a Scottish national bank, Scottish energy development agency and public energy company to drive investment and development of Green energy, pointing out that countries such as Germany and Denmark, which lead in the area of low-carbon transition, have been able to do so through having a strong public sector.

However, the green new deal also proposes giving the private sector more long-term certainty in order to facilitate investment in major projects such as district heating schemes and to channel public and private investment into green industries.

The latter would include reviewing Scottish Government infrastructure investments so that 70 per cent, rather than the current level of 31 per cent, goes into low-carbon infrastructure, making the green new deal the core purpose of the Scottish national investment bank and renegotiating city deals to become green city region deals that align with the new deal strategy.

Other proposals include building a world-leading green manufacturing sector, supporting low-carbon farming, redirecting transport funding away from roads projects and into walking, cycling and trains, upgrading Scotland’s homes to make them more energy efficient and creating regional industrial strategies for areas such as Aberdeen.

The strategy also includes measures to improve wider wellbeing, such as replacing the aim of ‘sustainable economic growth’ with a target of improving wellbeing, encouraging moves to a four-day working week and developing programmes of local investment based on the model developed by Preston City Council in Lancashire.

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said: “It’s not enough to say it’s a climate emergency, we need governments to act.

“With only six MSPs the Scottish Greens have made a considerable impact on Scotland, and with this new ambitious vision we will use that influence to push for the actions needed, including on infrastructure, farming, manufacturing and housing.

“I work in renewable energy engineering, and it is completely misguided to argue that we need to wait until the technology is ready, or for independence.

“We have the technology now, and the climate emergency will not wait for independence.”

“Of course, a Scottish Green new deal could be even more substantial with the full powers of independence, and that is why we will continue to argue that case.

“I encourage our members and stakeholders to help us develop this vision in detail in the coming year.

“The work must start now.”

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