‘Perfectly reasonable’ for oil revenues to fund a just transition – Slater

It is “perfectly reasonable” for oil revenues to fund the just transition to renewables in an independent Scotland, said Greens co-leader Lorna Slater.

The Scottish Government minister was asked about the £20billion investment fund that will be part of the upcoming independence prospectus.

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Building a New Scotland Fund would be created with the remaining oil revenues and the use of borrowing powers in the first decade of independence.

The third article in the Scottish Government series, which aims to make a renewed case around the economics of Scottish independence, is due out next week.

Nicola Sturgeon’s proposed fund would involve oil revenue (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Scottish Green Party, whose two leaders are government ministers under a co-operation agreement with the SNP, is holding its conference in Dundee this weekend.

Ahead of the event, Ms Slater told the PA news agency: ‘The document that will be presented by the Scottish Government will have a green influence.

“It is clear that the Greens would like to go further and be more progressive.

“But I don’t think those things are incompatible.”

Ms Slater said her party would produce its own more “radical” vision for an independent Scotland in addition to government documents.

She continued: “It is really clear that oil and gas will be phased out.

“No one is suggesting that we can or should turn off the taps just yet, but it is perfectly reasonable that oil and gas money be used to fund a just transition.

“It makes perfect sense to me.

“It makes sense to use this revenue as this industry is phased out to fund this transition to fully renewable and net zero industries in Scotland.

“We have huge potential to develop renewable energy in Scotland.

“Unfortunately we are hampered by the fact that we are currently tied to Westminster and do not have full powers to invest in our renewable resources and other industries as we would like, which is part of the reason for which we want independence.”

Scottish independence referendum
Lorna Slater said it was ‘totally unreasonable’ for Westminster to refuse indyref2 powers (David Cheskin/PA)

Earlier this week, the Scottish Government’s legal adviser – the Lord Advocate – made submissions to the Supreme Court regarding Holyrood’s jurisdiction to legislate for a second independence referendum.

Should the court rule against the Scottish government, the First Minister has said she will treat the upcoming general election as a “de facto referendum”.

Ms Slater said it was ‘completely unreasonable’ for Westminster to withhold legal powers for another referendum.

She said: “The arguments made this week by the Lord Advocate were brilliant and very clear on why Scotland should be able to exercise its right to self-determination – it is a fundamental human right.

“But if we are forced into the position where the people of Scotland have no other option to express their democratic will, then yes, in that case the Scottish Greens would also stand as a single-themed general election campaign on Scottish independence.

“Because the people of Scotland deserve the right to have a say in their future.”

She said the Greens would still field their own constituency candidates, but stressed that such a scenario remained “highly speculative”.

About Jerry Richter

Check Also

Scottish singer-songwriter Rab Noakes dies aged 75

Scottish singer-songwriter Rab Noakes has died aged 75. Noakes died Friday in hospital after a …