The Edinburgh Reporter

Rail investment needs to be on track

- Sarah Boyack MSP

COP26 IN Glasgow delivered a pact which represents a new chapter in our global fight against the climate crisis.

In Scotland, having led the way on climate legislatio­n following Scottish Labour’s cross-party push for radical targets, we’ve not seen enough action from The Scottish Government with targets on emissions, renewable heat, and biodiversi­ty all being missed. There’s no meaningful plan for a jobs-first transition, and public transport routes are being cut. We need a just transition which creates high-quality, green jobs and ensures that no community is left behind.

The climate crisis is the greatest threat facing our world with low income countries already experienci­ng the devastatin­g impacts of flooding and droughts. Scottish Labour has launched Green Labour as an optimistic, alternativ­e vision of the greener Scotland we want to build. In the

Scottish Parliament as we build recovery from COVID we need joined-up action on fuel poverty, new community heat and renewables that are affordable for consumers, and a focus on new jobs and training.

We also need more affordable transport in communitie­s across Scotland. We need investment in new rail services, support for new, locally owned bus services like Lothian Buses, safe, properly planned active travel routes, and

EV charging points: an expansion of low carbon transport that meets people’s needs.

We all need to work together to make the changes our communitie­s need to cope with the climate and nature emergencie­s.

The agreement reached at COP26 is just a starting point and our communitie­s must be at the heart of the just transition we need.

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