Meeting called

Greens to review power-sharing pact with SNP

Lorna Slater: making progress (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Scottish Green members are reviewing the future of their pact with the SNP after it dropped key a key climate pledge.

The leadership has called a general meeting to review the Bute House Agreement that brought the Greens into government three years ago.

The agreement gave the Greens two ministers in the government and withdrawal would leave the SNP running a minority administration which has already prompted talk of a general election.

In a statement issued just before 10pm last night the Greens said the meeting would debate the future of the SNP-Green alliance following requests from members.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie, who earlier this month called for climate action to be stepped up, will urge the party to support continuation of the power-sharing deal in light of progress made on a number of environmental issues, such as public transport.

However, there is a groundswell of anger among Green activists who feel they have been humiliated by the decision of SNP ministers to backtrack on climate targets.

Màiri McAllan, the Net Zero Secretary, confirmed on Thursday that the government was abandoning its aim for a 75% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

The decision drew criticism from across the political spectrum after the administration had lauded its “world leadership” in tackling the climate emergency.

In its statment last night, the Greens said a well-attended online meeting was oversubscribed with questions in the allotted time.

Mairi McAllan delivering the decision on climate targets

Co-leader Lorna Slater said: “The intention, as a democratic party, is to give members the opportunity to debate and decide how the party moves forward, how we continue to build on the progress we have made on our manifesto commitments and to deliver our vision of a fairer, greener Scotland.

“We have achieved more for people and planet in the past 32 months than other parties have in decades. Now we want to hear from our members on how they want us to continue this progress.”

She said the party was “rich in talent and determined voices which is why the Tories, Labour, big polluters, greedy corporate interests and right-wing media commentators are so determined to try and have us fail.

“They fear the progress we have made on making big polluters pay, on rent protections, free bus travel for young people and record levels of spending on climate and nature, and they hate having a pro-independence majority in government at Holyrood.

“Not everything in politics is easy, as we have seen over recent years, months and days, but our strength as a green movement is in standing up against those destructive forces who would set fire to everything we have achieved if given half the chance.

“The Scottish Greens are powered by our people, and by shaping the direction we go in our members will provide that springboard needed to make the even bigger breakthroughs for people and for planet that we so badly need.”

The general meeting is expected to consider a single motion on whether the party continues to co-operate with the Scottish government or not.

Writing on social media, Mr Harvie said: “As part of the Scottish government, we’re making a difference on a far bigger scale than ever before. I will be urging our members to vote to keep doing that, and to put Green values into practice.”

While the Greens proclaim progress on a number of issues, opponents and even some of its own supporters say it has focused too heavily on other issues, including the independence campaign.

Many business leaders believe Green Party is a destructive force in government because of its lack of support for measures that would help economic growth.

In an interview with Daily Business after the recent spring conference, Mr Harvie denied the party was anti-business or anti-growth, but said it was important to factor in other issues, such as wellbeing, into policies that grow the economy.

Comment: How the Greens could emerge stronger

Interview: Patrick Harvie

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