The Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Economic Recovery published their report this morning suggesting how Scotland should recover from coronavirus and the restrictions that accompanied it. Earlier today, key workers held a small, socially-distanced protest outside St Andrews House to call for an economic recovery plan that creates a fairer, greener Scotland.

Free to use, print quality photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNZSeyv

Commenting on the report, Caroline Rance, Friends of the Earth Scotland Climate and Energy Campaigner, said:

“The First Minister has spoken of the need for a green recovery which delivers a wellbeing economy but today’s report fails to chart the path to a greener, fairer Scotland for everyone.

“Today’s advice offers little in the way of new thinking or concrete measures that will challenge the inequalities, poverty and climate pollution in Scotland. A return to the way things were before coronavirus is both unrealistic and unwanted.”

“As we plan our economic recovery, we must build back better. The Scottish Government must now lay the foundations for a fairer, greener future, with huge public investment in good, green jobs and a Just Transition to a zero carbon economy. This needs to be underpinned by affordable and accessible public services, a labour market that works for the people within it and everyone having an income that meets their basic needs.

“While there are some elements in the report which we encourage the Scottish Government to adopt, like speeding up renewables in Scotland, a Job Guarantee for young people and moving towards a Circular Economy, their response to this report must go further. The Scottish Government must reject a return to business as usual, instead committing to using public investment to drive a growth in quality, green jobs while cutting carbon emissions and supporting those people and communities worst affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

“By ensuring that Scotland delivers its fair share of international climate action we can help head off the devastation and disruption that unchecked climate breakdown will bring.”

Over 80 civic society organisations from across different sectors of Scottish life have written to the First Minister calling for a radical response to the coronavirus recovery that puts people before profit. These groups highlighted how the double crises of coronavirus and climate change are exposing and worsening deeply damaging inequalities within society, and called on the First Minister to ensure the recovery transforms our society and economy in a way that puts people and planet first.

Notes to Editors

1. The Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Economic Recovery report is here: https://www.gov.scot/news/working-towards-economic-recovery/ The Chair of the Group, Benny Higgins, joined the First Minister’s lunchtime briefing to talk about the report. There will be a debate on the report in Parliament on Tuesday.

2. This morning a socially-distanced protest was held outside St Andrews House by key workers and youth climate activists demanding a recovery fit for people and planet. Print quality photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNZSeyv

3. 82 civil society organisations, including Friends of the Earth, wrote to the First Minister calling for a radical response to the coronavirus recovery that puts people and planet before profit. Representatives of those groups met the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform and the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture this morning.

4. 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.