Trade unions and environmental campaigners have joined forces to call for increased nationalisation of climate change and green energy projects.
In a joint statement, Friends of the Earth Scotland and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) accuse the government of lacking ambition and making generally slow progress on moving to a low-carbon economy.
The statement, also backed by WWF Scotland and the Unite, Unison, PCS, UCATT, UCU and CWU unions, said: “We share a concern that plans for this transition so far have not been ambitious enough and that progress has been slow except regarding onshore wind.
“There has been little planning to ensure the protection of the people most affected, in particular those who work in sectors reliant on fossil fuels.
“It is necessary to confront the danger of losing a large part of the industrial base as employment in traditional sectors declines.
“Workers, if losing their job in these sectors, should be able to redeploy to new sectors and opportunities for retraining must be expanded.
“As a new Scottish energy strategy and climate change plan is being drafted we hope to see a pipeline of ambitious investment projects and the capacity to finance them put in place.”
It continued: “The government should take a decisive lead with plans to transform key sectors, for example electricity generation, energy storage, transport infrastructure, energy efficiency and sustainable heating for homes and businesses.
“Where necessary to secure change at sufficient pace and scale, options for public and community ownership or partial stakes in flagship projects and enterprises should be pursued.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland and the STUC will pledge to work closely on green industrial policies.
Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “We should be responding to climate change in ways which protect workers’ livelihoods, create a new industrial base and deliver a fairer Scotland as well as rapidly reduce our emissions. There will be hundreds of thousands of new jobs in a low-carbon economy.
“So far we have seen good growth in renewable electricity but progress on the transformation of other parts of our economy has been slow. The forthcoming climate change plan will be key.”
STUC assistant general secretary Stephen Boyd said: “The transition to a low-carbon economy, done the right way, has the potential to increase employment and create a more dynamic and resilient economy.
“However, experience to date confirms that a more active and interventionist approach will be necessary to maximise economic and employment benefits”.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “A global clean energy transition is already under way but we need to ensure that transition is just, fair and equitable for all.
“However, this will only happen if our political leaders are prepared to fully embrace the idea of modern low-carbon economy that protects workers’ livelihoods, creates new industries and delivers a fairer Scotland.
“The Scottish Government’s forthcoming energy strategy and climate action plans provide the ideal opportunities to bring forward the targets and policies needed to deliver such a vision.”