Scotland revealed its proposals for a new model of green ports focused on inclusive growth, fair work practices and delivering a net zero economy.
Specifically, the Scottish Government is developing plans to establish fair, sustainable, green ports. These would adapt the UK government’s freeport proposals, offering streamlined planning processes and a package of tax and customs reliefs.
The Scottish Government’s green ports would make it necessary for operators and businesses benefitting from the package of incentives to:
- Pay the real Living Wage;
- Adopt the Scottish Business Pledge;
- Commit to supporting sustainable and inclusive growth in local communities;
- Contribute to Scotland’s just transition to net zero.
The plans were announced by Trade Minister Ivan McKee, who said:
The reputation of freeports across the world is mixed, with concerns about deregulation and risks of criminality, tax evasion and reductions in workers’ rights raised. That is not a model nor an approach that this Scottish Government will sign up to or allow here in Scotland
He added that it is clear that freeports cannot and will not undo the damage being caused to Scotland’s economy by Brexit.
Instead, we propose to take the freeport model and apply Scotland’s priorities to it, so that it meets our ambition to deliver a net zero, wellbeing economy that upholds the highest standards of environmental protections and fair work practices and supports our strategy of building clusters of high productivity businesses across Scotland’s regions
The Scottish green port model aims to adopt best practice, in order to deliver the net-zero emissions and fair work principles, alongside supporting regeneration and innovation ambitions.