Scottish Greens launch Holyrood election campaign

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Green MSPs "can make a difference"

The Scottish Green Party has launched its Holyrood election campaign, claiming to be the only party that can deliver a "fair and green recovery" after the pandemic.

It unveiled the party's slogan "Vote Like Our Future Depends On It" alongside a campaign to address climate crisis with "the urgency it requires".

It plans to invest in renewable energy, public transport and protecting nature.

It will also support another referendum for Scottish independence.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie and Lothians MSP Alison Johnstone set out their campaign on Calton Hill in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Image caption,
The Scottish Greens launch their Holyrood election campaign

When asked about Scottish independence, Mr Harvie said a majority of Scots supported the idea of having the chance to make a constitutional choice in the next few years.

He emphasised that another vote should not go ahead until after the pandemic.

The party leaders say they hope to pick up more seats around the country after the Greens took six seats at the last Holyrood election.

They say they have pushed the Scottish government beyond its "comfort zone" in the current parliament, and their support has helped the SNP minority government in key votes.

Mr Harvie said: "If you get Green MSPs elected they have a strong track record, not of online conspiracy theories or just shouting from the sidelines, but actually making a difference."

The Greens also say they will campaign on their record of delivering "meaningful change" over the past five years and with a detailed vision for Scotland's future.

They hope to make the future "not just fairer but greener and more equal".

'Looming climate emergency'

The party leaders say this is "critical", whether it is in tackling the climate emergency or making sure the Covid recovery does not return to "that exploitative economy of before".

Mr Harvie said: "Our future is at stake at this election. Climate science gives us just nine years to reverse climate breakdown, and the pandemic has shown up the gaps in our economy that allow too many people to fall into poverty."

He said the Scottish Greens had worked constructively during the Covid crisis to make sure front-line workers were tested regularly and had helped bring about a ban on evictions over the winter and made sure schools were safe.

"But as we build back from this crisis and address the looming climate emergency, we need a recovery that creates jobs and tackles Scotland's climate emissions," he said.

"We need investment in low carbon industries like wind farms, trains and warm homes. Only the Scottish Greens offer the solutions to act now, which is why we are asking people to vote like our future depends on it on 6 May."

Ms Johnstone added that polling looked positive for the Scottish Greens so far.

She said the party's MSPs had secured wider environmental and wildlife protections in the current session of parliament, as well as free school meals and free public transport for the under-21s.

The party is optimistic that it can return to parliament after the election with a larger group of representatives.