The Scottish Parliament election in May is crucial for delivering a green recovery that creates good jobs and cuts emissions. Rebuilding from coronavirus must be done in tandem with bringing down climate emissions.
If done well, this could enhance our wellbeing, tackle inequality and give a boost to the fight against climate breakdown. We contacted all major political parties with a suite of ideas prior to the election campaign.
You can read a summary and full length version of these ideas below. Here are four key policies which you can talk to your local candidates about
A publicly owned renewable energy company, generating power
We need to see urgent and far-reaching action to shake up Scotland’s energy system, creating a rapid growth in renewable energy that powers our lives at fair prices, using equipment built locally.
Scotland’s energy system is currently a complex patchwork of private companies whose key priority is profit, not investing in creating green jobs and reducing emissions from energy.
To fully unlock our potential, and secure a fair share for Scottish communities, parties should commit to launching a publicly owned energy company. This would develop new wind, solar, tidal and wave energy projects and provide affordable, renewable energy, particularly benefitting for those in fuel poverty.
Time for Scotland to free ourselves from fossil fuels
Renewables have grown rapidly in Scotland but still only supplies one quarter of our energy use. Too much of our energy for electricity, heating our homes and powering our transport still comes from climate polluting fossil fuels like oil and gas.
We know that to limit further climate breakdown we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground, but the Scottish Government still supports drilling for every last drop of oil and gas in the North Sea.
Instead we must set an end date for new oil and gas, in line with our international climate obligations. Parties must back plans that will deliver a just transition away from fossil fuels that supports workers and communities. By committing to 100% of energy generated here to come from renewables by 2030 we can create even more good green jobs.
Free bus travel, on publicly owned buses
Changing how we travel is key to tackling the climate crisis – transport makes up one third of our climate pollution.The next Parliament must focus on moving away from the car-dominated system, instead increasing access to public transport and boosting walking, cycling, and wheeling.
Buses have a key role to play in this process, but Scotland’s bus network is not yet good enough. Lots of buses are run by private operators who have cut routes and raised fares. Bad bus services are likely to have had the most impact on people on the lowest incomes.
Parties should commit to extending free bus travel to all, starting with a trial in Glasgow in the lead up to the UN Climate Summit in November 2021. Buses should be run in the interest of passengers and communities, not shareholders. Parties should commit to supporting local Councils to run their own bus services.
Scotland has significant potential to create green jobs in making and maintaining buses. By boosting demand for buses we can create more green jobs, and protect existing ones.
Putting people and climate action at the heart of decisions about the economy
We need a new approach to the economy, one that focuses on tackling climate change, creating green jobs, and improving people’s wellbeing.
The Scottish Government’s economic plan is not fit to meet the challenges we face. It was written before COVID-19 and before the climate emergency was declared. It focuses largely on economic growth but the pandemic has exposed the cruelty and inequality of that approach.
The climate crisis spans every area of the economy, meaning that tackling it will require a well managed transition in almost everything. We need to see a focus on greater investment and intervention from the next Government, particularly in areas like energy and transport.
We can no longer continue with a system that puts profit ahead of both people and planet. We must reprogramme that system so that works the public good. Parties should commit to changing our approach to the economy, adopting a new strategy focused on delivering a fair but rapid transition away from fossil fuels to a more equal, zero-carbon economy.
Read the Summary of our election ideas: Election 2021: Summary Demands for a Green Jobs Recovery
Read the Full version of election ideas: Election 2021: Full text of Demands for a Green Jobs Recovery