New first minister must lead a ‘climate parliament’, Greens say

The calls come on the day a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is scheduled to be made public.

Scotland’s new first minister must lead a ‘climate parliament’, Greens say STV News

The new first minister must lead “a climate parliament”, the leaders of the Scottish Greens have said amid the leadership race to replace Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader.

The calls come on the day a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is scheduled to be made public.

The IPCC was created to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation options.

Co-leaders of the Scottish Greens Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater said the report will “not hold back on its warnings” on climate change for Scotland.

The pair said “tribal party politics” will do nothing to help mitigate the impact of the changing climate, and insisted the new first minister and other parties must work together.

Their calls come amid the leadership contest to succeed Sturgeon as SNP leader and first minister.

Kate Forbes, who is on maternity leave from her government role as Finance Secretary, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and former community safety minister Ash Regan are facing each other in the contest.

Slater said: “The IPCC will not hold back in its warnings, and the new first minister must act by taking the kind of bold action needed to protect our country and our children from the climate storm.

“The stakes could not be higher. The decisions that our Parliament and this Scottish Government take over the next months will define whether we succeed in mitigating Scotland’s role in the deadly impacts of this crisis.

“It’s a huge test for Government, but also for Parliament. The legal duties which Scotland has on climate change were agreed by all parties, so the onus is on all of us to step up and show how they can be met.

“This is now way beyond political tribalism which is why we are calling on the new first minister to lead a ‘Climate Parliament’ that can focus on sustained action.”

The Scottish Greens highlighted five major decisions it believes the new SNP leader will immediately face:

– The need for new laws to speed up the transition in the way homes and buildings are heated;

– Making public transport cheaper and easier;

– Refocusing food production and farming to restore nature;

– Benefitting from new jobs in renewable energy;

– Fully committing to ways of working which reduce waste and maximise re-use of materials.

Harvie added: “The current SNP leadership election is for that party and its members.

“But as soon as the dust settles on that contest, the election of a new first minister will come with the warnings of the IPCC still ringing loudly.

“Any credible candidate will need to both acknowledge them, and rise to that challenge.”