Scottish Socialist Party calls for Public Ownership and Investment in Green Jobs

The Scottish Socialist Party has called for democratic public ownership of energy and urgent investment in jobs, as figures confirm runaway private profits while green jobs decline in Scotland.

Richie Venton, SSP Workplace Organiser, and co-author of “Socialist Change not Climate Change“, said:

“As I wrote in the book ‘Socialist Change not Climate Change‘, back in October 2021:

Bitter experience has proven there is nothing guaranteed nor automatic about Mother Nature’s blessings, or the vast expansion of wind and wave power, producing a bounty of new jobs for Scottish workers. The baleful lack of an industrial strategy from successive Labour/Lib Dem and SNP Scottish governments, and above all their dependency on privatised capitalism for the production, installation and operation of offshore windfarms, for instance, has led to the incredible result that jobs in this sector have actually fallen!

“And things can only get worse, as the song didn’t say! New information from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) paints a dreadful picture of rising profits and falling jobs in Scotland’s green energy sector.

“The number of wind turbines on our skylines – offshore and onshore – has risen substantially, but as well as wind-powered energy, they are generating fabulous profits rather than copious amounts of jobs for Scottish workers.

“Multinational companies and overseas capitalist states are reaping the wind profits, whilst fuel poverty still stalks Scotland like a modern plague.

“ONS figures show offshore wind companies increased their turnover by 66% in 2022 compared with 2021, to a total of £4.2 billion. Onshore wind companies enjoyed an even bigger leap, of 82%, to a hefty £4 billion turnover.

“Yet, in brutal contrast, the number of jobs in these two sectors fell by 3% and 11% respectively, in the same year.”

Two women at COP26 march in Glasgow with SSP placards calling for "free public transport" and "socialist change, not climate change".

“Overall, in the industries commonly known as the Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Sector, company turnover rocketed by 47% to £13billion in Scotland that year, but the number of local jobs collapsed from 29,700 to 25,700.”

“We already see the threat to skilled jobs in the fossil fuel sector, most spectacularly at Grangemouth. But whilst the overwhelming majority of workers in the oil and gas sector are eager to transfer their skills to green energy production – most especially wind power production – there are no jobs on offer. Profits are being offshored to overseas multinationals and capitalist state enterprises, whilst the Scottish government desperately scrambles to shine a green light on their actions.”

“The old socialist adage applies with renewed force: you can’t plan what you don’t control, and you can’t control what you don’t own.”

“The SNP – with their Green Party props in tow – sold off Scotwind to a clutch of overseas capitalist profiteers, and allow wind turbine jackets to be built in the likes of Indonesia, then dragged across 7,000 miles of ocean on diesel-burning barges, spewing out pollution, sailing up past the mothballed BiFab yards in Fife that could have built these components and created hundreds of skilled jobs and apprenticeships.”

Three young women at COP26 with SSP placards reading, "Free public transport", "socialist green new deal", and "people over profit"

“Capitalism marauds the globe for maximum profit, preferring cheap labour, even slave labour, to any rational production plan that would meet the needs of both people and the planet we live on.

“The SSP’s persistent call for democratic public ownership of all forms of energy – including renewables – is underlined in green ink by these latest scandalous statistics.

“Pleading with the voracious Lords of Profit won’t create jobs or save the planet. We urgently need socialist change to tackle climate change, in a fashion that marries the needs of people and planet. You’ve got to be Red to be Green!”