Lorna Slater feels SNP deal puts climate at 'the heart of government'

By Craig Paton, PA Scotland Political Reporter & David Flett

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater will tell members her party’s policies can change people’s lives after they entered a power-sharing agreement with the SNP.

In the first party conference since the co-operation agreement with the SNP was signed in August, Ms Slater will stress the importance of the policy decisions made by the party after she and fellow co-leader Patrick Harvie took up government office.

The climate, Ms Slater will tell delegates, is being put “at the heart of government”.

“As we meet this weekend we can do so with more than just hope – we can do it with the knowledge that the policies we discuss can change the lives of people across our country,” she said. “The agreement that we negotiated will deliver real and positive change for our climate and our communities.”

She added: “It will build on the vital changes that we have already secured. In the last term alone, Green MSPs secured progressive taxation, a pay rise for public-sector workers, hundreds of millions of pounds for local authorities, free school meals for all primary-age children and free bus travel for everyone under 22.

Scottish Greens co-leaders Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie outside Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, during their party's Autumn conference (PA Wire/PA Images)

"It is a record we are very proud of and one that we are taking even further. We are putting the climate at the heart of government.

"But it’s not just environmental justice that we need to deliver, it is also social justice. These are the changes that can only happen with Greens in government.

"They are changes that will make a difference to people’s lives and they are changes that we are very proud to be delivering.”

Mr Harvie is expected to say his party is “only getting started” in government.

He will add: “Our shared programme in government is about creating a green recovery from the pandemic, one that tackles the climate emergency.”

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