Ross Greer says he was “immensely frustrated” at the “hypocrisy” of party leaders during last night’s Channel 4 climate debate.
The West Scotland regional MSP spoke at today’s climate protest in George Square, where hundreds gathered to demand world leaders take action against the climate crisis.
Greer, 25 – the youngest MSP to ever be elected into Holyrood – said: “Almost all the leaders who were there were saying the right things about the climate, but their actions and actual policies are something different.
“Sian Berry from the Greens had the right policy proposals, but the Greens also have history of the right action on this.”
He criticised the other party leaders for their “hypocrisy”, having endorsed oil and gas extraction from the North Sea until 2050, supporting the expansion of Heathrow Airport and building a new coal mine in Cumbria.
Free public transport and home energy efficiency are key to tackling climate problems in Glasgow, he said:
“In Glasgow about 300 people a year die prematurely because of air pollution due to the huge amount of traffic congestion we have, which is massively unjust because just under half of households in Glasgow don’t even have access to a car.
“We have terrible problems with fuel poverty in Glasgow with massively inefficient buildings and people are suffering.
“It also means we’re wasting huge amounts of energy heating buildings where the heat just escapes”.
When asked who he trusts more to tackle climate change in the event of people tactically voting Labour or SNP instead of Greens, he said neither, adding:
“If we want to demand climate action, wherever people can vote Green they should vote Green, because you are forcing the other parties to address the issue.”
Members of the Scottish Socialist Party were also at the protest campaigning for free transport, arguing it’s too expensive and “excludes the people who need the service the most”.
Paul Donnelly of the SSP said:
“We’re very glad that the Scottish Greens have picked up on free transport. It’s been an SSP policy for many years.
“Prices have grown because private companies have to have more profit. But that’s unsustainable and excludes the people who need the service the most, which are those on lower incomes and those unemployed.
“We think that’s wrong and has to change. More and more people in Glasgow are picking up that message.”
The Green Party currently hold six seats in the Scottish Parliament and are contesting in 22 Scottish constituencies in the upcoming UK General Election.
They are promising net-zero emissions by 2030, the deadline set by the world’s leading climate scientists to minimise pollution before it’s too late.
The SNP is committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, as are the Liberal Democrats.
Labour’s manifesto pledges to achieve the “substantial majority” of emission reductions by 2030, while the Conservatives are aiming for 2050.