Deal between SNP and Scottish Greens to see new ministers appointed

(Image credit: Achinthamb, Shutterstock)

THE cooperation agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens is to see two new ministers appointed.

Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, will become minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights.

The role will see Mr Harvie work alongside the housing secretary and net zero secretary, with his responsibilities including driving policy changes that shift Scotland away from reliance on high carbon modes of transport and heating.

Further to this, he will also lead on delivering a new deal for tenants, and ensuring that building standards are fit for purpose.

Lorna Slater, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, will take on the role of minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity.

Ms Slater will work with the finance and economy secretary and net zero secretary. Her role will see her look to drive a green industrial strategy, helping people access training and opportunities as part of a net zero Scotland, and ensuring our economy is supported through a just transition to net zero.

Supporting biodiversity and protecting the country’s national parks and natural heritage will also form part of Ms Slater’s role, working closely with NatureScot and Zero Waste Scotland and supporting the development of a circular economy that minimises the impact on the natural environment.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, “This historic cooperation agreement is founded in a shared drive to work together in the Scottish Government to build a greener, fairer, independent Scotland.

“We have massive challenges to overcome: a global pandemic and its lasting effects, the climate emergency and the assault by the UK government on the powers of our Parliament. Patrick and Lorna’s roles in Government are rightly at the heart of facing up to them, and the expertise and passion they bring with them will contribute greatly to defining Scotland’s path forward in doing so.

“Although our parties do not agree on everything we have been able to compromise on both sides, find common ground and agree on areas where we can work together to build a better country.

“The world has had to adapt quickly to respond to the fast-paced and changing nature of the pandemic but what it has shown us is that we can put politics aside to tackle the challenges in front of us decisively and in a way that delivers. I look forward to working with my new Green Party colleagues in this new and ambitious way.”

Minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights, Patrick Harvie, added, “We are at a crucial tipping point in terms of our relationship with the planet. I am thrilled at the opportunity to drive forward policies that enhance peoples’ lives while supporting the urgent goal of tackling the climate emergency as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity, Lorna Slater, commented, “Any transition to net zero must be just, and my focus will be on delivering policies that support our workforce and wider economy through that change as well as ensuring our greener future is also a prosperous and fair one that benefits our natural environment.”