NICOLA Sturgeon has announced ministerial roles for Scottish Greens co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater. It follows the co-operation deal agreed between the Greens and the SNP.

Harvie will be Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights Minister while Slater will take on the role of Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity.

Among Harvie’s responsibilities will be driving the move from high-carbon transport and heating to greener alternatives, while ensuring fairness during the transition. Slater’s responsibilities will include the Green Industrial Strategy as well as dealing with national parks.

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The First Minister said: “This historic co-operation agreement is founded in a shared drive to work together in the Scottish Government to build a greener, fairer, independent Scotland.

“We have massive challenges to overcome: a global pandemic and its lasting effects, the climate emergency and the assault by the UK Government on the powers of our Parliament. Patrick and Lorna’s roles in Government are rightly at the heart of facing up to them, and the expertise and passion they bring with them will contribute greatly to defining Scotland’s path forward in doing so.

“I look forward to working with my new Green Party colleagues in this new and ambitious way.”

Harvie said: “We are at a crucial tipping point in terms of our relationship with the planet.

"I am thrilled at the opportunity to drive forward policies that enhance peoples’ lives while supporting the urgent goal of tackling the climate emergency as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Slater said she will focus on a just transition to net-zero as well as ensuring benefit to the natural environment.

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Ministerial appointments are subject to formal approval by the Scottish Parliament and the Queen. The Scottish Conservatives plan to vote against the nominations but are outnumbered.

Negotiated over the summer after the SNP fell one seat short of an overall majority in May’s election, the power-sharing agreement involves a shared policy platform.

This includes an agreement to pursue another vote on Scottish independence before the end of 2023.