SGP

PEEBLES HOSTS HIGH PROFILE GREEN YES Q&A

Monday, July 28th, 2014

 

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is urging undecided voters in the Peebles area to take part in a question and answer session with three leading commentators.

 

The event, to be held in Peebles Burgh Hall on Thursday 31 July at 7pm, will feature:

 

- Louise Batchelor, former environment correspondent for the BBC

- Patrick Harvie MSP, co-convener of the Scottish Greens

- Robin McAlpine of the Jimmy Reid Foundation and Common Weal project

 

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

 

“The referendum debate has sparked a very welcome revival of public engagement in politics and I’m really looking forward to hearing from voters in Peebles. The opportunity we have in September is to decide who speaks for Scotland – should it be the House of Commons and the House of Lords or should it be the Scottish Parliament?

 

“I see great opportunities for communities in the Borders from a Yes vote. If the Scottish Parliament becomes responsible for areas such as social security, foreign policy and defence it’s reasonable to expect power to be given to a more local level.

 

“Peebles has a well-deserved reputation for thinking globally and creatively, so I’m looking forward to a lively discussion. Those who are unsure about independence deserve to hear a wide range of perspectives as they reach a judgement on this hugely important vote.”

 

More information about the Green Yes campaign is available on the web at www.scottishgreens.org.uk/independence.

I see great opportunities for communities in the Borders from a Yes vote. If the Scottish Parliament becomes responsible for areas such as social security, foreign policy and defence it's reasonable to expect power to be given to a more local level.
Patrick Harvie MSP

FRACKING: EXPERT REPORT UNDERLINES CONCERNS

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood’s economy and energy committee, says today’s report by the Expert Panel on unconventional oil and gas underlines the serious concerns surrounding fracking and other forms of onshore drilling.

Scottish ministers are to set up a working Group to consider the findings of the report. These include:

- The impact of unconventional oil and gas resources in Scotland on the Scottish Government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases is not definitive.
- The high population density of those parts of Scotland most likely to host significant unconventional oil and gas resources would be a challenge for any form of re-industrialisation.

A huge swathe of Scotland, from Argyll to Aberdeenshire and from Ayrshire to East Lothian, has been earmarked as ripe for fracking by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“This report, coming on the day that the UK Government invites firms to apply for fracking licenses, underlines the absurdity of chasing after yet more sources of polluting fossil fuels. The experts warn that developing unconventional gas may increase the climate change emissions we need to cut, and that the chance of being able to use this resource to maintain electricity supplies is negligible.

“Communities across Scotland are rightly concerned at the hype surrounding shale, with thousands of people in the Falkirk and Stirling areas already voicing opposition to gas extraction proposals there. I would again urge Scottish ministers to ban any such developments and instead focus on Scotland’s undoubted potential for clean, renewable energy and the high quality employment already being created.”

 

Independent Expert Scientific Panel –
Report on Unconventional Oil And Gas

The experts warn that developing unconventional gas may increase the climate change emissions we need to cut, and that the chance of being able to use this resource to maintain electricity supplies is negligible.
Alison Johnstone MSP

Gaza: UK wrong to give strong backing to Israel

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Commenting on the escalating violence and the prospect of a widespread ground offensive in Gaza, the Scottish Greens are calling for the UK and Scottish Governments to take action as part of the global movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions to put immediate economic pressure on the Israeli government.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“There are many people in Scotland who want our Government to better represent their disgust at the disproportionate attack on Gaza in recent weeks. The UK and Scottish Governments must take a stronger stance in support of the people of Palestine, and take immediate action to put serious economic pressure on the Israeli Government through boycotts and disinvestment.

“David Cameron has made clear his defence of Israel’s brutal campaign on a blockaded population, demonstrating yet again the opportunity an independent Scotland would have to better reflect support for Palestine in our foreign policy.”

There are many people in Scotland who want our Government to better represent their disgust at the disproportionate attack on Gaza in recent weeks.
Patrick Harvie MSP

TRIDENT: JOHNSTONE SAYS CONVOY UNDERLINES NEED FOR YES

Friday, July 11th, 2014

 

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is highlighting last night’s convoy of military vehicles through Glasgow as a reason to vote Yes.

The convoy, thought to include lorries transporting Trident nuclear bombs, was stopped for an hour near Loch Lomond by protestors from Faslane Peace Camp.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone said:

“Scottish CND are to be praised for drawing attention to what is out of sight out of mind for so many Scots – the fact that we have hundreds of nuclear warheads just miles from our largest city. We must continue to challenge those determined to squander billions of pounds on a horrific system of mass destruction.

“Scottish Greens led a historic Holyrood vote against the renewal of Trident, and we will continue to make the case not just for its eventual removal from Scottish waters but for it to be made inoperable as soon as there is a Yes vote. September’s independence referendum is a real chance to say yes to a nuclear-free Scotland, provide new opportunities for employment around the Clyde, and prompt governments around the world to rethink their outdated and dangerous defence priorities.”

 

Green Yes

Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

 

September's independence referendum is a real chance to say yes to a nuclear-free Scotland, provide new opportunities for employment around the Clyde, and prompt governments around the world to rethink their outdated and dangerous defence priorities.
Alison Johnstone MSP

ENERGY: GREEN MSP WELCOMES EXPERT REPORT ON SINGLE MARKET

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is welcoming an expert report recommending that an independent Scotland remain part of the GB-wide market for electricity and gas.

A Green Yes briefing on jobs points out that more than 11,000 people are already employed in the renewables industry and most firms are expecting to grow. Scotland has the offshore engineering skills to make marine renewables a success and create thousands more jobs in construction, grid development and research.

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood’s economy and energy committee, said:

“Energy is an issue that all countries are facing up to, and with our renewables potential Scotland has a chance to generate not just what we need but also energy for export to enable our neighbours to meet their low carbon targets. Encouraging the trading of energy not just within these islands but across the North Sea makes sense, and I see a Scottish Parliament with responsibility for energy policy much more likely to prioritise these issues.

“By contrast Westminster is locking us in to new nuclear with its massive costs and toxic legacy, and a dash for fracked gas that risks our local environment and our carbon budget. What today’s report from the Expert Commission on Energy Regulation underlines is that it’s sensible to co-operate on such a crucial issue but it’s vital that Scotland gets to decide the direction it wants to go in.”

 

Expert Commission on Energy Regulation

Jobs-rich, fair and flourishing – An Economy for All (Green Yes briefing)

An analysis of the effect of recent UK government policy decisions on nuclear energy suggests that Scottish consumers could face lower prices in an independent Scottish electricity system (Aberdeen University)

Energy experts call for Scotland to have power to escape nuclear (Sunday Herald)

 

It's sensible to co-operate on such a crucial issue but it's vital that Scotland gets to decide the direction it wants to go in.
Alison Johnstone MSP

SPORTS FACILITY FUNDS: JOHNSTONE URGES TALKS WITH USERS

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and sport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, is calling for consultation with user groups to determine how £20million should be used to improve sporting facilities.

The public funding from Sportscotland is expected to be topped up by other bodies to upgrade existing sites and create new centres.

Alison Johnstone MSP, a former competitive athlete and qualified athletics coach, said:

“While I welcome investment in facilities that cater for a broad range of needs, it’s vitally important that we see meaningful consultation with all user groups. In deciding where this money is spent we must listen to the needs of athletes, coaches, governing bodies and leisure facility users.

“The demise of Meadowbank stadium in Edinburgh is a classic example of what not to do. We need to ensure new and upgraded facilities come with realistic maintenance budgets and appropriately trained staff. We need to make sure no area is left behind in the race to create a Commonwealth Games legacy.

“Given the health issues our society faces from inactive lifestyles, and the growing cost to the NHS, we must take every opportunity to make sport accessible, enjoyable and affordable.”



Sportscotland National and Regional Facilities Investment

Alison Johnstone MSP

INDYREF: CHAPMAN URGES YES TO INFLUENCE OIL DEBATE

Monday, July 7th, 2014

 

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is urging a new approach to North Sea oil that recognises the economic and environmental reality that society faces.

A report published today by an expert oil and gas group set up by the Scottish Government recommends measures to “fully exploit” the remaining hydrocarbons of the UK Continental Shelf.

This is despite economists and energy experts warning that if we burn the fossil fuels already listed on the world’s capital markets we will breach the carbon emissions budget designed to limit dangerous climate change.

Co-convener of the Scottish Greens and Green Yes campaigner Councillor Maggie Chapman said:

“A Yes vote gives us the opportunity to do things differently, to be a world leader in new industries like renewables, and create good jobs for our skilled workforce, rather than having Westminster continue to waste our oil.

“Renewables, along with non-fuel uses for oil such as chemicals and plastics manufacturing, are the sort of industries an independent Scotland must prioritise. Whilst it’s no surprise that this report reveals that big industry doesn’t like tax hikes, it is rather more worrying that it seems to view the attractions of the renewables industry for school and college leavers as a threat.

“It also speaks volumes that this so-called policy framework does not mention climate change, carbon emissions or that Scotland has missed its climate targets three years in a row. Fully exploiting oil is simply not compatible with the carbon budget we cannot afford to breach.

“By encouraging maximum extraction we are effectively encouraging companies to waste investment and create unusable assets, rather than focussing on creating a sustainable economy with well-paid jobs that are essential for the future of our country.”

Green Yes

Oil and gas commission report

A Yes vote gives us the opportunity to do things differently, to be a world leader in new industries like renewables, and create good jobs for our skilled workforce, rather than having Westminster continue to waste our oil.
Cllr Maggie Chapman, Scottish Greens Co-convenor

SHALE: GREEN MSP SAYS SURVEY SHOWS FUTURE ISN'T FRACKING

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, says a study by the British Geological Survey shows that potentially modest reserves of shale oil and gas prove fracking shouldn’t figure in Scotland’s energy future.

The BGS estimates there are 80 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in central Scotland – just six per cent of the reserves thought to be present in northern England – and it warns that drilling and testing of wells would be required to understand if commercial production rates could be achieved.

A huge swathe of Scotland, from Argyll to Aberdeenshire and from Ayrshire to East Lothian, has been earmarked as ripe for fracking by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“This study puts paid to all the hype we’ve been fed about a shale bonanza. Not only would fracking divert attention from our undoubted renewables potential but any economically viable extraction would be modest and short-term. Greens want a long-term energy plan for Scotland, and we have abundant clean sources to do this.

“As communities across Scotland realise the risk to their local environments from the prospect of fracking, and as climate science tells us we must start to leave unburnt fossil fuels in the ground, it’s clear that any such developments will face strong opposition.

“It all serves as a reminder that Westminster controls energy policy in Scotland. The chance to pursue clean, long-lasting power rather than polluting, finite fuels is a compelling reason to vote Yes in September.”

 

The Carboniferous shales of the Midland Valley of Scotland: geology and resource estimation (BGS)

As communities across Scotland realise the risk to their local environments from the prospect of fracking, and as climate science tells us we must start to leave unburnt fossil fuels in the ground, it's clear that any such developments will face strong opposition.
Patrick Harvie MSP

INDYREF: GREEN MSP OUTLINES ENERGY OPPORTUNITIES

Monday, June 30th, 2014

 

 

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is highlighting the opportunities for Scotland to make the most of its renewable energy potential.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, will today (30 June) take part in a Question and Answer session for members of industry body Scottish Renewables.

A Green Yes briefing on jobs points out that more than 11,000 people are already employed in the renewables industry and most firms are expecting to grow. Scotland has the offshore engineering skills to make
marine renewables a success and create thousands more jobs in construction, grid development and research.

Yesterday a leading group of academics called for Scotland to control over energy policy to escape Westminster’s backing for “bankrupt” nuclear power.

Expert analysis of UK government policy decisions on nuclear has also suggested that Scottish consumers could face lower prices under independence.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“Scotland’s burgeoning renewable energy industry would benefit from a Yes vote in September. Investment in the sector is already being put at risk by Westminster’s pursuit of new nuclear plants and fracking.

“Crucially, a Yes vote would give the Scottish Parliament the ability to decentralise ownership of the land and infrastructure that renewable energy depends on, spreading the economic benefits of this growing industry throughout society. By also investing in demand reduction, we could tackle the eyewatering costs that consumers have faced as Westminster governments have dithered over our energy future.

“Our vision for growth in renewables means highly-skilled well-paid long-term jobs. Those campaigning for a No vote are not offering to devolve responsibility for energy, so we’d still be saddled with the costs of nuclear decommissioning and its toxic legacy.”

 

Jobs-rich, fair and flourishing – An Economy for All (Green Yes briefing)

An analysis of the effect of recent UK government policy decisions on nuclear energy suggests that Scottish consumers could face lower prices in an independent Scottish electricity system (Aberdeen University)

Energy experts call for Scotland to have power to escape nuclear (Sunday Herald)

 

 

Our vision for growth in renewables means highly-skilled well-paid long-term jobs. Those campaigning for a No vote are not offering to devolve responsibility for energy, so we'd still be saddled with the costs of nuclear decommissioning and its toxic legacy.
Patrick Harvie MSP

IMMIGRATION: GREEN MSP ON LOCAL AUTHORITY STUDY

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

 

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood’s economy committee, is highlighting a study by the Centre for Population Change which suggests local authorities in Scotland have insufficient resources to welcome migrants to their communities.

Earlier this year a poll for the Scottish Green MSPs showed two-thirds of Scots want Holyrood to have control over immigration policy, with almost half of those planning to vote No to independence backing the idea.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“Immigration presents huge economic and social opportunities for Scotland, and it’s pleasing to see local authorities are keen to attract more people to their areas to address issues such as population decline and an ageing population. But it’s a real concern to hear that many are struggling with resources.

“Immigration policy is determined by the UK Government and there’s no offer to devolve responsibility for it, so if Scotland votes No we will continue to struggle to adopt the more welcoming approach so many of us want to see.

“What this study also shows is that local authorities should have greater control, with the ability to raise revenue and direct resources where they’re needed. Local decision making, at Scottish and community level, will be key to securing the benefits of immigration for our society and economy.”

 

Immigration poll by Survation in March 2014 for Scottish Green MSPs

Centre for Population Change

Immigration policy is determined by the UK Government and there's no offer to devolve responsibility for it, so if Scotland votes No we will continue to struggle to adopt the more welcoming approach so many of us want to see.
Alison Johnstone MSP

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