In a debate in the Scottish Parliament today MSPs from all five parties said they want the Scottish National Investment Bank to focus on the climate emergency.
Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Greens went further, specifically stating that the Bill to create a Scottish National Investment Bank must be amended to incorporate an objective of tackling the climate crisis.
Environmental campaigners are now urging all MSPs to work to amend the Bill to ensure the Bank supports a Just Transition to a zero-carbon economy after their first debate in the Scottish Parliament. MSPs will be able to propose amendments over the coming months, as the Bill passes through Stage 2.
Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church commented,
“With the right changes to the legislation, there is significant potential for the Scottish National Investment Bank to play a critical leadership role as we move to a zero-carbon economy.
“It was great to hear Scottish Greens and Liberal Democrat MSPs speaking in support of changes to the SNIB Bill that would put tackling the climate crisis in the Bank’s founding legislation.
“Attention must turn now to getting these amendments written into the new law, with the support of all MSPs. The warm words from the Finance Secretary today that responding to the climate emergency will be central to the Bank must now be put into action.
“The breakdown of our climate threatens millions of peoples lives, and this won’t change until countries like ours prioritise finance for climate action and green jobs over dirty fossil fuels.”
Elsewhere in the Scottish Parliament, youth strikers followed their historic day of protest on Friday by holding a meeting to demand, as part of a broad agenda, that the Scottish National Investment Bank must have an ethical investment policy to ensure it can “only invest in sustainable and renewable industries.” (1)
Notes to Editors
- The Stage 1 debate on the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill took place on the afternoon of Thursday 26 September, just a day after the Parliament passed new climate legislation. https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/111153.aspx
- FoES briefing for MSPs ahead of the debate is available at: https://foe.scot/resource/scottish-national-investment-bank-bill-stage-one-briefing/
- Friends of the Earth Scotland has long campaigned for banking reform, including proposing a Scottish National Investment Bank in 2016. Thousands of our supporters have joined calls for the SNIB to finance the Just Transition to a zero-carbon economy in Scotland in 2018.
- Extract from the Scottish Youth Climate Strikers demands:
The Scottish Government makes investments in order to achieve the 2030 target.
1. Invest in research in sustainable and renewable infrastructures.
2. The Scottish National Investment Bank must be legally bound by an ethical investment policy to only invest in sustainable and renewable industries which do not violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
3. All public bodies divest immediately from their unethical, unsustainable or non-renewable investments.
- Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.