15 August 2023

Yousaf: Taking sides on climate change is bound to annoy some people

15 August 2023

Scotland’s First Minister has said that taking sides on tackling climate change is going to “piss people off”.

Humza Yousaf, speaking at a live recording of the Holyrood Sources podcast, said it was important to “take a side” on what he described as the “biggest existential crisis our planet faces”, pointing to a rash of climate-related issues this summer.

He went on to contrast his stance with that of the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a summer where, every single week, we’ve seen with such visibility, the impact of the climate emergency right across the world,” he said.

This is a time for politicians to take more action to tackle the climate emergency, not less action

“And we’ve got a Prime Minister literally saying he’s on the side of the motorist, sitting in Margaret Thatcher’s old Rolls-Royce and making it a wedge issue.

“Now you’ve got Keir Starmer saying they’re going to roll back on ultra low emission zones (Ulez).”

The First Minister added: “This is a time for politicians to take more action to tackle the climate emergency, not less action.

“So, yes, I will be choosing sides, because that’s what you have to do, and frankly that’s going to piss off some people.”

The Scottish Government set a target of achieving net zero by 2045, and ministers have been vocal in their opposition to the prospective Cambo oil field, the development of which has been criticised by climate activists.

But ministers have been less forthright about their opinions on the nearby Rosebank oil field.

Both oil fields lie in the North Atlantic, west of Shetland.

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