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Sarwar plans commission to develop energy policy

Anas Sarwar

Anas Sarwar: ‘We cannot trust the SNP to deliver jobs’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar will on Monday unveil plans for a new energy commission to protect and create jobs in the transition to a net-zero economy. 

It will look at the failures of the current market, the role of publicly-owned power companies and Scotland’s energy mix.

Mr Sarwar will outline plans for the Scottish Energy Transition Commission at the Labour Party conference in Brighton. It will be chaired by Brian Wilson who was the UK’s Minister of Industry and Energy between 2001 and 2003.

The commission will engage with businesses, trade unions and energy experts to develop a strategy that Labour believes can deliver jobs and prosperity for Scotland.

It will make recommendations on what a Glasgow Agreement emerging from the COP26 conference could look like for the people of Scotland.

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Labour said in a statement that in 2010 the SNP promised 130,000 green jobs by 2020 but instead the number of people directly employed in the low carbon and renewable economy is 21,400, the lowest level since 2014.

It added that the SNP has so far failed to fund any projects using the £100m Green jobs fund announced in September 2020, and only committed in the 2021/22 PFG to fund programmes “this year”.

Ahead of his speech, Mr Sarwar said: “The transition to net-zero holds tremendous opportunities for Scottish manufacturing and our economy, but we cannot trust the SNP to deliver jobs here in Scotland.

“That’s why this commission will focus relentlessly on how we can make the transition to net-zero deliver work, confidence and prosperity to Scotland.

“We cannot allow a repeat of the end of mining, where communities were hollowed out, workers were stripped of their dignity and our industrial skills base was destroyed. 

“That is the path that the SNP and the Tories have got Scotland on.  

“The only way to avoid that injustice is to put at the heart of everything we do a focus on creating and supporting a jobs first transition which has the support of workers and the local communities. 

“I am delighted that Brian Wilson will be bringing his expertise to the table and I am excited to see how this commission can help plan a path to a brighter, greener and more prosperous Scotland.”



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