Environmental campaigners have called on the Scottish Government to put the creation of good green jobs at the heart of their Programme for Government this week.
The twin crises of the climate emergency and economic impacts of covid-19 demand urgent Government intervention that tackles both issues head on.
Friends of the Earth Scotland have proposed a ten-point programme of activity to the Scottish Government that would help create tens of thousands of good green jobs while building a fairer society.
Highlights of the plan include:
Kickstart a programme of public green job creation with investment in national green infrastructure projects, including in energy efficiency, sustainable transport and renewable heating.
No public money for fossil fuel developments (including Carbon Capture and Storage, and fossil-derived hydrogen)
Map the skills needed for the zero-carbon economy and begin funded, targeted training programmes to address the gaps
Shift government spending away from polluting projects – e.g. money away from roads expansion projects into broadband connectivity.
Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon commented,
“The employment and economic crisis caused by coronavirus is worsening every day so both the Scottish and UK Governments must bring forward concrete plans for how they will create the good green jobs needed by both people and the planet.
“A Green Jobs Recovery Plan could create thousands of jobs ensuring everyone has warm homes, safe routes for walking and cycling and clean, reliable public transport.
“The Programme for Government is the first major opportunity for the Government to spell out how they will boost investment, create green jobs and set us a path to a just and green recovery.
“We see the worsening impacts of climate breakdown from fires in California to landslips in Scotland – there is no time to waste in creating the climate jobs that will help us exit this recession, reduce emissions and build a fairer economy.
“Scotland must learn the lessons of the past and ensure that none of the recovery money goes to new fossil fuel developments or high carbon projects that will worsen the climate emergency.
“Politicians cannot be seduced by the false solutions and false promises of the fossil fuel industry who are demanding public money for high risk technologies like Carbon Capture or fossil-fuelled hydrogen.
“By mapping out the skills needed for a zero-carbon economy and then providing those training opportunities we can give people the skills they need to flourish as we move beyond fossil fuels.
“A Just and Green Recovery will invest in our public services, including the care service and our NHS, ensure an adequate income for everyone and put the wellbeing of Scotland’s citizens at the heart of our plans.”
“The Scottish Government could and should be doing much more to protect jobs like those under threat at bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis in Falkirk, to ensure the benefits of green jobs are felt throughout a Scottish supply chain and the nearby communities.”