Sturgeon slammed as Green Party success could be tripped up by pitfalls of SNP

Nicola Sturgeon outlines Scotland's actions on climate change

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Robin Harper, who was first elected in 1999, spoke to ITV and warned his Green colleagues about working with the SNP which could ultimately harm their future. He explained the Green Party was at its strongest currently but feared disagreements with the SNP or backing policies unpopular with their voters due to their new Holyrood power-sharing deal could spell disaster. The ongoing issue with Cambo Oil, which has put the SNP and Greens at odds with one another, could threaten the legitimacy of the Greens if they blindly backed the extraction of oil to maintain their position of power.

In the aftermath of the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May, the SNP failed to gain an overall majority in Holyrood.

Ms Sturgeon then chose to team up with the Green Party but fell short of calling the agreement a coalition.

Instead, the “power-sharing deal” saw co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater appointed as junior ministers where they were allowed to sit in on the cabinet several times a year.

The two parties both agree independence for Scotland is a good thing, although for different reasons.

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Speaking to ITV, Mr Harper discussed the alliance and urged the Greens to be careful with how they conduct business with their political partner.

He explained: “We’ve made political progress and the Green Party is stronger than it’s ever been.

“With more counsellors and more MSPs than we’ve ever had before.

“But going into an alliance with the SNP has its pitfalls and its problems and we’re going to have to be very careful about how we progress the next four years so we don’t get tripped up.”

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Mr Harper then discussed the Cambo Oil field issue with Ms Sturgeon stating she did not want to extract all the oil from the site.

Cambo Oil was granted an exploration licence back in 2001 with approval for extraction still under review.

But Ms Sturgeon has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to consider carefully whether to go ahead with the extraction as the oil field could stay in operation until 2047.

Scotland has pledged to be net-zero by 2045 with the UK set for their 2050 date.

But the situation has become controversial as Ms Sturgeon juggles the economic benefit for extracting oil, which could subsequently fund net-zero schemes, with the environmental impact of fossil fuel digging.


Mr Harper commented on the issue and said: “I think [the Green Party] should say no way should that go ahead.

“That’s absolutely the wrong message to give at this time, for us to develop Cambo Oil field, no, no, no.”

Glasgow is also due to host the Cop26 conference at the end of the month with the whole world watching closely at the UK’s own climate pledges.

The BBC reports at least 3,000 delegates do not have accommodation yet and a planned rail strike could disrupt travel to the event.

“That is an enormous amount of people to try and put right in the middle of a city, not where you would normally have these kinds of conferences.

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