4 December 2012
Scottish Greens are calling on SNP ministers to stand up to energy multinational EDF which has announced a seven year extension to the life of the ageing Hunterston nuclear plant in Ayrshire.
Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow and energy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:
“Scotland doesn’t need to sweat its nuclear assets to keep the lights on. This extension shows how light touch regulation is failing us and the Scottish Government shouldn’t just wave it through.
“The Scottish Parliament has voted against new nuclear, and it’s clear our renewables targets are achievable. Why on earth would we allow EDF to increase our toxic waste legacy and continue the risks of running a plant built in the 60s?”
30 November 2012
Scottish Greens have lodged a motion which other MSPs are invited to support, congratulating Trump protestor Michael Forbes on being named Top Scot at the Spirit of Scotland Awards.
The motion, lodged by Green MSP for Glasgow Patrick Harvie reads:
“That the parliament congratulates Aberdeenshire farmer Michael Forbes on being named Top Scot of the year at the Spirit of Scotland Awards following an open public ballot; praises his long-running, dignified and principled stance against American billionaire developer Donald Trump who showed extreme discourtesy in branding Mr Forbes’ home a “slum”; and expresses concern that residents of the Menie estate still have the threat of compulsory purchase hanging over them as Mr Trump draws up plans for a second luxury golf course.”
Mr Harvie, who visited the Menie estate at the height of the Trump dispute and who earlier this year screened the You’ve Been Trumped film in the parliament, said:
“Michael is a true local hero, albeit a modest one, in complete contrast to Mr Trump who many people agree is an ego-maniac. We must not forget that it is Michael and his neighbours who have had to live with the harsh reality of a billionaire’s bulldozers.
“Scottish Greens have consistently backed the residents of Menie and we have tried to persuade local MSP Alex Salmond that Mr Trump isn’t a fit and proper person to represent Scotland as a Global Scot amabassador. We have also urged the First Minister to get on with making a decision on the Aberdeen Bay wind deployment project.
“Michael’s award clearly shows which way the wind is blowing and if the First Minister had any sense he would join us in commending the award, he would give Trump the boot from the Global Scot club and he would give the green light to Aberdeen Bay without further delay.”
29 November 2012
Scottish Greens are welcoming the prospect of cross-party talks about a distinctly Scottish response to the Leveson proposals on regulation of the press.
Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:
“Scotland has a proud tradition of journalism but the industry’s self-regulation has clearly failed and we can’t duck the issue any longer. It would be quite bizarre for a pro-independence Government to leave this to Westminster. The Leveson report demands action to restore public trust and I believe the Scottish Parliament should use its powers in this area.
“However, the First Minister would be wrong to rule out statutory regulation before talks take place. This is a real opportunity to ensure that regulation is truly independent from corporate control, and protects essential freedoms, roots out bad journalism and properly protects people’s privacy.”
28 November 2012
Scottish Greens are urging caution in light of today’s launch of the Green Investment Bank.
Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow and enterprise spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:
“It’s hard to see how this bank will live up to the hype. Investing in sustainable, clean forms of energy is obvious but this bank isn’t being allowed to borrow from the markets so its full potential is being restricted.
“It was also disappointing to hear Vince Cable on his visit to Scotland today refusing to rule out using the bank to support nuclear projects. And of course we know the Chancellor is openly hostile to a green route out of recession.
“You really have to question whether this bank will help us shift to a low carbon economy, when both the UK and Scottish governments continue to support fossil fuel extraction and aviation growth.”
27 November 2012
In light of today’s report by the British Council on languages, Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian and education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:
“This report from the British Council will hopefully add a sense of urgency to the issue. At long last it seems the Scottish Government realises that a lack of support for language teaching is putting young Scots at a disadvantage.
“In recent years we’ve seen foreign language assistant posts axed from schools, with SNP ministers blaming cuts from Westminster. There are so many benefits for our society if we prioritise access to learning languages, and we should be much more ambitious than nine primary schools. We must not allow imposed austerity to limit the potential of our young people.”
27 November 2012
A Glasgow MSP has repeated his call for bolder traffic management after a fresh report from the European Environment Agency rated it the worst for traffic pollution among 40 European cities.
In a recent answer to Patrick Harvie MSP, the Environment Minister admitted that Glasgow is not expected to meet European air quality targets for 2015 until 2017. Nitrogen dioxide targets were already delayed by five years from 2010.
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP said:
“It’s incredible that Glasgow keeps coming bottom of the class but no-one seems concerned enough to tackle the problem seriously. High nitrogen dioxide levels have particularly severe effects on the young, especially on the lungs, and society is paying a high price for the car obsession of the main parties. The Government and the Council need to work together to get a grip on traffic levels and learn from some of the bold initiatives tried in other cities.”