Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has called for a comprehensive route-map to a green recovery from Covid-19 to be a key priority for the Scottish Government.
In its Green Recovery report published this week, the Committee states that Scotland needs an integrated, bold route-map to recovery that is based on community cohesion, wellbeing and equality and transcends sectoral boundaries.
Committee Convener, Gillian Martin MSP, said:
The cross-cutting nature of the challenges presented by Covid-19 and the climate and ecological crisis represents a whole system challenge never witnessed before. Yet through Covid, Scotland has seen first-hand how a coherent route-map approach, combined with strong leadership, can affect the necessary change in our policies and behaviour and with the urgency needed.
Scotland must use this impetus, and the opportunities presented in both the Budget 2021-22 and the Climate Change Plan update, to create a net-zero emissions economy.
Amongst several other recommendations, the Committee has called on the Scottish Government to:
- Bring forward a Natural Capital Plan for Scotland, establish a natural capital baseline with monitoring reports to check progress and align plans for job creation with the need for nature-based solutions/natural capital enhancement.
- Repurpose the Inter-Ministerial Group on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development and the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Climate Change, as a green recovery group to drive the Green Recovery across the public and private sector – to be chaired by the First Minister.
- Review the founding legislation for all public bodies to ensure that responding to the climate and ecological crises is at the centre of statutory requirements placed on all those receiving public sector funding.
- Carry out a skills audit and produce a skills action plan which offers upskilling and reskilling to those who need it, so people transition into low carbon, green jobs with no gap in employment.