Politics

Partick Harvie: Russian invasion shows need to shift away from fossil fuels

THE Scottish Greens leader has said the Russian invasion of Ukraine is an example of why the Scotland needs to accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels.

Green Minister Patrick Harvie was speaking to reporters on a visit to apprentices working on new electric buses in Falkirk today.

The recent conflict in Ukraine has sent oil prices soaring and has led to many European countries questioning their reliance on Russian Gas and energy.

Mr Harvie said the link between fossil fuels and ‘political instability’ was being made clearer than ever by the war.

He said: “Absolutely everybody has been shocked and distressed to see the images coming out of Ukraine and the appalling, completely unjustifiable unprovoked invasion that Vladimir Putin has unleashed.

“We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and I think it’s been inspiring to see people in Russia protesting against the war.”

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He continued: “Reliance on fossil fuels is already a crisis for our society.

“It’s environmentally destructive, it’s unsustainable, but it’s also clearer now to more people than ever before that it’s connected to political instability and our global shared security.

“So we absolutely need to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.

“That means things like what we see here today, with electrification of buses.

“It means taking our homes and buildings off the gas network as well.”

This week, the Scottish Greens will have been working in partnership with the SNP for a six months, and it comes just ahead of their spring conference starting on March 11.

Deputy leader of the Greens, Lorna Slater said entering the government six months ago had been a ‘step change’ for the party.

Asked if Green members felt they should go further in government, she said the party had welcomed the Bute House agreement which led to its two ministerial roles.

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She said: “It is a big change for us to be part of that decision-making structure rather than just scrutinising the government.

“Everybody is always wishing to be able to do more than they can – that’s something we need to work on.

“Once you’re in government you have to take responsibility, you have to follow the correct processes.

“It’s a more grown-up form of politics than we’ve had before.

“We’re gaining new experience but I also think we’re gaining real credibility for what we can deliver.”

Discussing the Scottish Government’s independence prospectus, she said formulating the document would be a “detailed process” which would take many months.

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