Vehicle debate steps up a gear
That’s the first week of parliament done and dusted and it’s well and truly ‘back to school’ for me.
One thing I’ve always loved about being Paisley’s MSP is I never have that dreaded Sunday feeling. I’m very lucky that I never feel unhappy about returning to parliament.
Last week, I jumped right back into things and spoke in a debate on ultralow emission vehicles and, for once, my former job as a car salesman was very useful.
I was very happy for the opportunity to speak on this matter as I think it is very important – especially at the start of a new year – to look towards the future and do all we can to protect the environment and our planet.
We are very lucky in Scotland to have such a beautiful green and lush landscape, but we must protect it and make sure our famous hills, glens and scenery are there for many generations to come.
Electric vehicles are definitely a step in the right direction and ultra-low emission vehicles give us the opportunity to set a path for less pollution and improve the quality of air in the places that we live, work and visit.
The Scottish Government has pledged to introduce low emission zones in Scotland’s four biggest cities by 2020, and phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars by 2032.
This is years ahead of the UK government’s target – and the SNP, has committed to delivering 20 electric towns by 2025.
When researching for my speech, I was very encouraged by the rise in electric vehicle usage in Renfrewshire alone.
Figures released by the Department of Transport revealed that the number of ultra-low emission and electric vehicles in our county increased by 179 per cent between 2017 and 2018, with a 130 per cent increase since 2016 across the whole of Scotland.
In order to keep increasing the amount of electric cars on our streets, I have contacted multiple car companies and engaged in quite a few discussions about how they as manufacturers are making progress.
It is clear that car companies are moving in the right direction too therefore we, as legislators, must ensure that we work with them to achieve a positive outcome.
I know the SNP will continue this progress and maintain Scotland’s reputation as a global leader on tackling air pollution and climate change.
It’s truly wonderful that our country is at the forefront of environmental progress I think the rest of the UK could certainly take a leaf out of our book.