Just hungry for power! Sturgeon playing with fire as SNP deal to ‘destroy credibility’

Scottish Greens will 'carry the can' for SNP says Cole-Hamilton

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The “groundbreaking” cooperation agreement between the SNP and the Scottish Greens, announced by first minister Nicola Sturgeon, secures a pro-Scottish independence majority in Holyrood of 71-57; six more than the 65 needed. The SNP had been locked in negotiations with the Scottish Green party since the SNP fell short of an overall majority in Holyrood by only one seat in the election on May 6. The new agreement will see the SNP and the Scottish Greens “working together for a greener, fairer, independent Scotland”, according to Ms Sturgeon.

They have vowed to secure a referendum on Scottish independence after the Covid crisis to be held within the current parliamentary session on a specific date to be determined by the Scottish Parliament.

But, a climate change activist has responded to the agreement claiming the Scottish Greens will “destroy their credibility” by teaming up with Ms Sturgeon’s party – with the SNP-Greens deal risking backlash.

Organic farmer and Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam accused the Scottish Greens of selling out for a seat at the table.

Mr Hallam said: “There’s still an ambiguity by the SNP of allowing the new oil fields to be opened up near Shetland.

“Now, that is an act of national suicide.”

In the policy programme, the SNP and Greens admit they “do not entirely agree” on the oil and gas sector.

On oil and gas extraction, there is a commitment to review policy and to transition away from fossil fuels, but the SNP appears wary about the pace of change and offending the business sector.

Environmental groups have accused ministers of hypocrisy after it emerged the development of a vast new North Atlantic oil field at Cambo, west of Shetland, could still get the green light.

Many of the other environmental pledges use non-binding terms such as “working towards” and “consultation”, suggesting a lack of commitment to radical environmental reform.

Mr Hallam said: “The division now is between realists who are actually looking at the reality of what opening up an oilfield actually means for the future of the nation, and people who are still in the neoliberal ‘let’s rock and roll and just keep business as usual’.

“And by the Greens joining that government without creating those red lines, they will destroy their credibility in the next half decade.

“And I predicted that before with the Green Party – they’re just hungry for power.

“That is understandable but what we’re dealing with here is an objective crisis and nature doesn’t give a damn about political programmes.

“It’s physics: if you put fossil fuels into the atmosphere, you’ll destroy society, period.”

It comes after a UN climate change report issued a “code red for humanity”.

The landmark study warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade unless strong decisive action is taken immediately.

UN secretary general António Guterres said: “If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe but, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses.”

The UN secretary general went on to urge governments around the world to accelerate targets.

As part of the SNP-Greens deal, Ms Sturgeon has made Scottish Green Party co-leaders Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie ministers in her Government.

But critics have said with only two ministers, their ability to create change is limited and, regardless of whether they were directly involved, the Greens will bear the brunt of any failures which occur during their tenure.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross called the deal a “nationalist coalition with one overriding goal: to separate Scotland from the United Kingdom”.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said the pact between the pro-independence parties “confirms the long-held suspicion that the Scottish Greens are just a branch office of the SNP”.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said: “Mr Hallam doesn’t appear to be aware that the licensing of oil fields is a reserved matter for the UK Government, it is not in the Scottish Government’s gift.

“Oil and gas extraction is an area where the Scottish Greens and SNP remain apart, but the cooperation deal does provide climate action in the areas devolved to Scotland, including shifting transport spending towards public transport and active travel, speeding up the decarbonising of homes and growing Scotland’s renewables capacity to create jobs and pave the way to a just transition.”

Express.co.uk has contacted the SNP for comment.

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