The Scottish Green Party has not ruled out supporting a Scottish National Party (SNP) administration that continues with major roadbuilding plans such as the A9 dualling, despite the country again missing its target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Following Green Party calls for a switch from roadbuilding to public transport investment, Transport Network asked the party whether it was prepared to offer support to the SNP administration even if it continues to progress the A9 dualling scheme.
The new Stanley/Tullybelton Junction and overbridge on the Luncarty to Pass of Birnam section of the A9 Dualling project
The spokesman stated that the party has not yet held talks with the Scottish Government, ‘and won’t provide a running commentary of those or what our red lines are’.
However, he added that the party’s manifesto ‘is clear that roadbuilding projects to add capacity to the network should be halted, so that will form the basis of talks’.
Officials statistics laid before the Scottish Parliament show that according to the GHG Account – the method of reporting emissions against targets recommended by the Committee for Climate Change – emissions fell by 51.5% between the baseline period and 2019.
The document points out that the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 specifies a 55% reduction over the same period.
It states: ‘Therefore the target for 2019 has not been met.’
Having failed to secure a majority in last month’s elections for the Scottish Parliament, the SNP is expected to enter discussions with the Green Party on a co-operation agreement.
The Scottish Greens environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell, said the Scottish Government ‘need to wake up to the urgency required’.
‘These latest stats show that Scotland is not cutting emissions fast enough to meet our international obligations. While we have seen some progress in renewable energy, emissions from transport have seen no reduction at all, while emissions from land use has actually gone up,' he added.
‘If governments are serious about traffic reduction then there must be a safe return to public transport in the months ahead with longer-term investment to switch from roadbuilding to public transport and safer streets for walking and cycling.’