PATRICK Harvie has called on the Scottish Government to develop a Green New Deal policy for Scotland.

The Scottish Green party co-convener will bring forward a debate at Holyrood this week urging MSPs to back an agenda which addresses climate change and invests in green jobs and industries.

Climate protesters this week took action in cities across the UK calling on government and councils to declare a climate emergency. They held a series of peaceful demonstrations, including occupying key sites such as Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge in London.

Last month, a motion by the Scottish Greens calling for the Scottish Parliament to declare a climate emergency was defeated.

In the United States, a Green New Deal plan was put forward by Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Harvie indicated that there is growing interest in Scotland and across the world in bringing forward a Green New Deal. He said: “Last month the Greens brought forward a vote calling on the Scottish Parliament to declare a climate emergency.

“This proposition was voted down by SNP, Tory, Labour and LibDem MSPs. The other parties cannot conceive of a positive vision for Scotland’s future after we leave the fossil fuel age behind.

“But, we quite simply cannot afford to continue with our over-reliance on oil and gas.

“A Green New Deal for Scotland is a practical way to transform Scotland’s economy, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in clean, green industries and tackle the huge inequality that still exists within our communities.

“So far, ministers have been reluctant to take the bold and urgent action that is required to tackle the climate crisis.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “In 2017, the Scottish low-carbon and renewable energy sector supported over 46,000 jobs, and generated over £11 billion in turnover. This is a significant result and confirms our commitment to ensuring that Scotland maximises economic opportunity of the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“We recognise that the transition to a carbon-neutral economy brings both economic opportunities and challenges.”