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Climate row kills Scotland’s SNP-Scottish Greens coalition, SNP to rule without majority –



Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf announced Thursday that he had ended his Scottish Nationalist Party’s coalition with the Scottish Greens saying the compromises it entailed were no longer worth it. The split comes seven days after the Scottish government ditched key carbon emissions reduction targets. File Photo by Robert Perry/EPA-EFE

April 25 (UPI) — Scotland’s Scottish Nationalist Party-led coalition imploded Thursday after a three year-long power-sharing agreement with the Scottish Greens that kept the SNP in power collapsed in a row over the scrapping of carbon emissions targets.

First Minister Humza Yousaf said he had told the Scottish Greens leadership their coalition was over and that he was ending their so-called Bute House agreement, telling a press conference that the compromises the pact involved were no longer worth it.

“It is no longer guaranteeing a stable arrangement in parliament, the events of recent days have made that clear, and therefore, after careful consideration, I believe that going forward it is in the best interest of the people of Scotland to pursue a different arrangement,” said Yousaf.

“That is why, following a discussion with my cabinet this morning, I have formally notified [Ministers] Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater that I am terminating the Bute House agreement with immediate effect.”

Yousaf, who replaced Nicola Sturgeon as first minister after she unexpectedly stepped down in March 2023, will now lead a minority government with the 39-year-old hailing the step as a “new beginning” for his party.

But he also held out the possibility of a relationship with the Greens going forward, saying he wanted to negotiate a “less formal” agreement with his former partners in government.

The 70-seat pro-independence coalition — backed by seven Scottish Greens MSPs — in the 129-seat Scottish Parliament was formed to allow the two like-minded parties to jointly govern — although the Greens were the junior partner in the arrangement.

The split, a week after the government announced it was abandoning its target of cutting carbon emissions by 75% by 2030, was met with a furious denunciation from Greens co-leader Slater.

“This is an act of political cowardice by the SNP, who are selling out future generations to appease the most reactionary forces in the country,” she said.

“They have broken the bonds of trust with members of both parties who have twice chosen the cooperation agreement and climate action over chaos, culture wars and division. They have betrayed the electorate.

“By ending the agreement in such a weak and thoroughly hopeless way, Humza Yousaf has signaled that when it comes to political cooperation, he can no longer be trusted.”

Net Zero Minister Mairi McAllan confirmed on April 18 that Scotland would instead switch to five-year “carbon budgets” in line with the English and Welsh governments, with the aim of achieving its zero emissions target date of 2045.

McAllan told MSPs her decision was driven by the U.K. Climate Change Committee’s conclusion that government failures to tackle emissions from home-heating systems, transport, agriculture and lack of progress on nature restoration projects meant the 2030 targets were no longer realistic.

The ditching of the 2030 targets that brought down the SNP-Greens coalition comes seven months after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pushed back a ban on new combustion engine vehicles by five years to 2035, arguing that amid an inflation and cost-of-living crisis government could only win the green argument by bringing people along with it.

Forcing expensive upfront costs onto already struggling consumers risked losing the whole green proposition, he said.

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