SNP and Scottish Greens deal could see 110,000 affordable homes built by 2032

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THE SNP and Scottish Green Party have agreed to work together over the next five years to ‘build a green economic recovery’ from the Covid-19 pandemic.

A shared draft policy programme has been penned by the two parties, which focuses on areas of mutual interests. It details collaboration on the climate emergency, economic recovery, the natural environment, energy and other areas.

Commitments include delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032; investing ‘at least’ £1.8 billion over the current parliamentary session in energy efficiency and renewable heating; take forward a ten-year £500 million just transition fund for the north east and Moray; build a strengthened framework of support for the marine renewables and offshore wind sectors; increase investment in active travel and public transport; and the creation of a new National Park.

The draft agreements will now be considered by the respective political parties involved before ministers provide an update to Parliament following recess.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, “Today’s politics can too often feel small – polarised, divided and incapable of meeting the moment – and this agreement is intended to change that in Scotland. It is about doing politics and governance better to find the solutions needed to solve the problems confronting the world today. The spirit of co-operation and consensus-building is very much in keeping with the founding principles of our Scottish Parliament. We do not agree on everything but we are coming out of our comfort zones to focus on what we do agree on.

“The agreement delivers bold policy action on pressing issues. A commitment to more affordable housing, a better deal for tenants and action to tackle poverty and inequality. Steps to accelerate our transition to net zero – more support for active travel, transformation of home energy and a ten year transition fund for the North East of Scotland. A focus on green jobs and fair work – and a sustainable recovery from Covid. We also reaffirm in this Agreement our shared commitment to securing independence for Scotland, and to giving people the right to choose our country’s future through a referendum.”

Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie added, “This is a historic moment, which could not come at a more important time. We must build a fairer and compassionate country and we must do everything in our power to tackle the escalating climate and nature emergencies to deliver a just transition for all. That is what this deal will do. Fundamentally this is a new approach to politics. We agree on some things and disagree on others – those distinctive voices can and will remain.”

Scottish Green Party co-leader Lorna Slater said, “The stakes could not be higher – with the COP26 climate conference coming to Glasgow, Scotland is in a position show real leadership on climate. But this deal is about people as well as the planet. Together, we would deliver a new deal for tenants, giving tenants more rights and introducing rent controls to help tackle Scotland’s housing crisis, create a new National Park, and much more. That’s why we are pledging to work together to build a greener, fairer and independent Scotland.”