Councils will have the power to charge a levy on visiting cruise ships, the Scottish Greens have announced.
Minister Lorna Slater said the new system could see the “most polluting” vessels forced to pay more.
Speaking at the Scottish Greens conference in Dunfermline, Slater also addressed her recent survival of a vote of no confidence in her as a Scottish Government minister.
Slater, who is Scottish Green Party co-leader and minister for green skills, the circular economy and biodiversity in the Scottish Government, said she experiences “bile” on a daily basis while in politics.
She hit out against a “coalition against change” who she claims tried to force her from office and said they had come together to “fight back against green policies”.
She continued: “I’ve seen their full force in the chamber, in the right wing media and on social media.
“I experience their bile every day.
“I’ve seen the depths of contempt that they hold for women in politics.”
She claimed both the Tories and Labour are part of this group of “vested interests” with Slater attacking them on their environmental record, saying they were “dropping even the most basic climate action” at the same time as they are trying to “roll back devolution”.
Hitting out at the Conservatives, she said: “The Tories know that their ideas can’t win here. They know that the people of Scotland have rejected them and that we will reject them time and again.
“They can see the climate chaos that we are in but are doubling down on the fossil fuels that are causing it.”
She slammed the UK Government for the “reckless” decision to give the Rosebank oilfield off the coast of Shetland the go ahead, but also criticised Labour, saying Sir Keir Starmer’s party “can’t even bring themselves to oppose it”.
Slater said of Labour: “They would rather keep the big decisions on climate with the Tories than with Scotland.”
Appealing to Labour supporters to join the Greens she added: “Does anyone really believe that Sir Keir Starmer would change anything?
“Whether it’s Brexit, Rosebank, the two-child cap or trans rights, Starmer is forcing Labour members into line behind the Tories.
“My message to Labour supporters is simple. Join us.”
The pitch came as she used her speech to announce the Scottish Government will now seek to give powers to councils to charge visiting cruise ships a levy.
Slater said: “This will mean communities that host cruise ships get the investment they deserve, and it is my intention to ensure that councils are empowered to charge the most polluting ships more.”
This, she said, was “essential”, adding: “A typical ship produces the same amount of carbon emissions as 12,000 cars – operators have been allowed to get away with polluting for too long.”
The minister went on to announce the government would work with councils to “explore a local carbon land tax” and other moves which could help create an incentive to restore peatlands and create more woodland.
And she said the Scottish Government’s forthcoming energy strategy would include a target of achieving up to six gigawatts of electricity from solar power by 2030.
“That’s ten times our current solar generating capacity,” she said, adding that the new target would “give Scotland’s growing solar industry the confidence they need to invest, create jobs, and help us accelerate the transition to green energy.”
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