Scotland to Build Own Green Ports as UK Govt is ‘Not Cooperating’

Scotland to Build Own Green Ports as UK Govt is ‘Not Cooperating’

UK Ministers will not commit to implementing green ports in Scotland that are underpinned by fair work conditions and net-zero ambitions, according to Business Minister Ivan McKee. As a result the Scottish Government will now progress plans to independently develop a green port model which is designed to meet the specific needs of Scotland’s economy.

A letter from the Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack has not provided a firm UK Government commitment on payment of the real living wage and net-zero conditionality in the operation of green ports in Scotland. The offer also fails to provide equivalent set-up funding for Scotland to that offered for the UK Government’s favoured freeport model for England, the Scottish government recently said.

Business Minister Ivan McKee said, “I have been clear that any model implemented in Scotland must include a firm commitment to conditionality around fair work and net-zero. These are central tenets of Scotland’s future economy and principles we cannot compromise on. The UK Government’s offer does not reflect this, provide fair set-up funding, or indeed recognise the vital role the real living wage plays in secure pay and employment contracts.”

“It is difficult to comprehend why UK Ministers would seek to dilute a strong commitment to fair work, including payment of the real living wage, when seeking to implement their freeport policy in Scotland. With just weeks to go before COP26, the UK Government should be working with us to help deliver a net-zero economy given both the Scottish and UK Government have statutory targets to meet on reducing our carbon emissions,” McKee stated.

“The Scottish Government therefore has no option but to take forward plans to further develop our green port model which meet the specific needs of Scotland’s economy,” he added.

The Scottish green port model adapts the UK Government’s freeport model to fit the Scottish context and help deliver a net-zero emissions economy and a Fair Work First approach, while supporting innovation, trade and inclusive growth.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.