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Scottish government collapsed over climate dispute

The Scottish government had set an ambitious climate target in its coalition agreement – but will miss it. The coalition between the Greens and the SNP has now broken up over this. The latter now wants to form a minority government.

Scotland's Prime Minister Humza Yousaf has terminated his cooperation with the Greens. The 39-year-old will lead a minority government in the future, as he said. While this could make government work more difficult, it is in the best interests of the people of Scotland.

Government misses agreed climate target

The reason for the rift is a dispute over climate policy. A week ago, the government announced that it would be canceling an important climate target – a minister admitted that the plan to reduce emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases by 75 percent by 2030 could not be achieved. However, this goal was agreed in the coalition agreement.

This led to anger among the Greens, as did the decision to stop giving puberty blockers to minors at a clinic. The party announced that it would vote on future cooperation with the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP). SNP leader Yousaf has now anticipated this decision.

SNP has been in power since 2011

The SNP narrowly missed an absolute majority in the 2021 regional elections and then agreed to work together with the Greens, who also support independence from Great Britain. Two Green Party politicians also got positions in the cabinet.

The SNP has 63 of 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament, the Greens have seven. The Conservative Party has 31 MPs and the Labor Party has 22. The SNP has been in government in Scotland since 2011.

Dispute with government in London

The left-liberal Scottish regional government was the first in the world to declare a climate emergency. The economy in the British part of the country has long been dependent on oil and gas projects in the North Sea. Recently, the leadership in Edinburgh has increasingly focused on renewable energies and wants to promote projects such as green hydrogen.

The conservative British central government in London, on the other hand, is committed to expanding oil and gas production and has watered down its climate promises despite criticism from its own ranks. Scottish Minister Mairi McAllan last week blamed the central government for failing to achieve one of its targets.

However, Scotland wants to stick to its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2045.

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