Green group welcomes Falkirk MSP's new Scottish cabinet role

The appointment of long-serving Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson as Scottish cabinet secretary for net-zero, energy and transport makes him a “key figure” in the ongoing fight against climate change according to one environmental group.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 11:23 am

Mr Matheson, first elected as an MSP back in 2007, received his new role following his successful re-election at the Scottish Parliament Elections earlier this month.

During his time serving at Holyrood he has been minister for public health and sport, justice secretary and transport secretary.

His appointment to the new role was given the thumbs up by Environmental Protection Scotland (EPS) – which actively campaigns for better air and land quality and is working towards sustainable development for Scotland.

Michael Matheson has been named the Scottish cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport

The organisations main aim is to achieve a “cleaner, quieter, healthier and sustainable Scotland” and it believes Mr Matheson is a man whose experience can help make this happen.

John Bynorth, EPS policy and communications officer, said: “This appointment brings continuity to his expanded cabinet portfolio that will play an important role in Scotland’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045.

“Transport infrastructure and modernisation accounts for a big proportion of our emissions and Mr Matheson’s experience in his last role as cabinet secretary for transport and infrastructure saw him involved in the creation of Low Emission Zones, the National Transport Strategy 2 and development of the Cleaner Air For Scotland strategy and will undoubtedly serve him well in the new expanded role.

“In the SNP election manifesto, the party said a ‘green transport revolution’ was required over the next 24 years to meet the net-zero targets as Scotland’s seeks to end its reliance on fossil fuel vehicles, invest millions in zero emission buses and develop hydrogen strategies for transport, whilst developing strategies for hydrogen as a source of power for vehicles and trains.

“Together with the soon-to-be appointed Just Transition minister, Mr Matheson will be one of the Scottish Government’s key figures at the COP26 summit in Glasgow later this year, providing a crucial opportunity to showcase Scotland’s net-zero credentials and push other countries follow suit to tackle the climate crisis.”