Molly Scott Cato

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Molly Scott Cato
Scott Cato cropped.jpg
Scott Cato questioning Jean-Claude Juncker at an open hearing hosted by the Green-EFA group on 9 July 2014
Member of the European Parliament
for South West England
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Personal details
Born (1963-05-21) 21 May 1963 (age 52)[1]
Nationality British
Political party Green Party of England and Wales
Spouse(s) unknown
Domestic partner Chris Busby (approx 1992–2004)
Children three[2]
Residence Stroud, Gloucestershire
Alma mater
Profession Green economist
Religion Quaker[3]

Sarah Margaret 'Molly' Scott Cato (born 21 May 1963) is a British green politician, academic, environmental and community activist, and green economist who is the current Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the South West England[a] electoral region for the Green Party. She was elected in May 2014, and is the first Green Party MEP to represent the region. From 2012 until her election as MEP, she was Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at the University of Roehampton.[b] Scott Cato speaks for the Green Party on finance issues,[5] and is well known in the field of co-operative studies.[6] She has published widely on green economics, localism and anti-capitalism, and has contributed to works on the risks of nuclear power, the use of which she strongly opposes.

Early life and education[edit]

Scott Cato was born in Wales,[citation needed] and grew up in Bath, attending Bath High School for Girls,[7] before reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford, where her stated areas of interest included "the politics of Latin America and international politics".[citation needed] After working in the publishing industry, in 2001[8] she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (now Aberystwyth University) with a thesis on employment policy in the South Wales Valleys,[5] including research into the Tower Colliery workers' co-operative.[9] Her book, The Pit and the Pendulum, is based on this research. She holds an MSc in advanced social research methods from the Open University.[10]

Academic career[edit]

After working for the Oxford University Press from 1987 to 1998, Scott Cato tutored at Aberystwyth University in 2000, then, from 2001 to 2012, was Senior lecturer and Reader in green economics at Cardiff Metropolitan University (known for most of that period as the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, or UWIC for short). In 2007 she was appointed Director of the Cardiff Institute for Co-operative Studies[9] In 2012 she became Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at the University of Roehampton.[11]

Scott Cato's academic work covers three main areas: firstly the green economy, that is, one which recognises planetary limits and achieves social justice; secondly the economics of co-operatives and social enterprises, and finally critical analysis of the existing monetary system, and alternatives which might replace it.[6]


She has published widely on green economics, localism and anti-capitalism. She wrote Seven Myths About Work in 1996, updating it in 2002 under the title Arbeit Macht Frei and Other Lies about Work. She co-edited Green Economics: Beyond Supply and Demand to Meeting People's Needs in 1999 with Miriam Kennet. Her report, co-authored with Christopher Busby and Richard Bramhall, on the structure of government specialist science advice committees, I Don't Know Much About Science, apparently "influenced the structure of the government's new committee examining the effects of low-level radiation".[citation needed]

In 2009 she published Green Economics: An Introduction to Theory, Policy and Practice, where she argues that society should be embedded within the ecosystem, and that markets and economies are social structures that should respond to social and environmental priorities. She includes examples of effective green policies that are already being implemented across the world policy prescriptions for issues including climate change, localization, citizens' income, economic measurement, ecotaxes and trade. In his review of the book in the Journal of Economic Geography Danny Dorling called it "a serious book written by the grown-up version of the kinds of people who are currently invading airports, chaining themselves to those coal trucks on the way to power stations and populating climate camps."[12]

Her 2011 book Environment and Economy describes the main academic responses to the need to resolve the tension between economy and environment: environmental economics, ecological economics, green economics, and anti-capitalist economics. It covers topics including an introduction to economic instruments such as taxes and regulation; pollution and resource depletion; growth; globalization vs. localization and climate change.

Political career[edit]

Scott Cato joined the Green Party in 1988,[10] prior to its split from the parties in Scotland and Northern Ireland in 1990. She has been Co-Chair of the Green Party Regional Council and served on the Green Party Executive as Campaigns Co-ordinator.[10] She wrote Seven Myths About Work as part of a Green Party campaign, Why Work?.[13] She speaks for the Green Party on finance issues,[5]

Local council[edit]

In May 2011, Scott Cato was elected to represent Valley Ward on Stroud District Council.[14] In May 2012 she became leader of the Green Group on the council and made an agreement with the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups to take overall control of the council, calling for "constructive co-operation" and rejecting the "tribalism of party politics" in favour of a "more inclusive" approach. She said, "We believe that no one party has a monopoly on good ideas and we will seek co-operation to achieve advances of our policy platform on an issue-by-issue basis."[15] She became chairman of the council's Audit and Standards Committee in May 2013.[14] At the council's AGM in June 2014, Scott Cato announced her resignation, to take effect from 1 July, the start of her mandate in the European Parliament.[16]

Candidate for the UK Parliament and Northern Ireland Forum[edit]

Scott Cato stood unsuccessfully as a Green Party candidate for the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency at the 1997 and 2005 general elections. In 2005 she finished sixth, with 1.3% of the vote.[17] In May 1996 she was on the Green Party list for elections to the Northern Ireland Forum, a body set up as part of a negotiating process that eventually resulted in the Good Friday Agreement. The party failed to gain any seats on the Forum, achieving 3,647 votes (0.5%).[18]

European Parliament[edit]

In the May 2014 elections for the European Parliament, she was elected as an MEP in South West England for the Green Party, being the lead candidate on the party's list.[19] The Green Party's share of the vote in her region was, at 11.1%, the highest of any electoral region.[20] She had stood for the European Parliament on the Green Party list for the South West region at the previous election in 2009; in 1999 and 2004[21] she had been on the Green Party list in Wales.[10] She stated, after her election, that her priorities as an MEP would be finance and farming: "I'm from the South West – it's vital to our region, and I hope to get farming working in a more socially and environmentally friendly way."[3]

On 1 July 2014, the start of her mandate, she was appointed a full member of the Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and a substitute member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.[1] In her first speech, also on 1 July, she expressed her opposition to the UK government's attempt to take away from her region control of £450 million EU convergence funding, saying: "Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have a long history of using these funds efficiently and effectively."[22]

Localism and community involvement[edit]

In addition to her work on Stroud District Council, Molly Scott Cato has, since 2007, been a director of Stroud Common Wealth,[23] a not-for-profit private company, limited by guarantee, which owns and develops property "for community benefit and to enable social enterprise development."[24] She is a director[2] of Transition Stroud, which aims to strengthen the community's local economy, to reduce dependence on fossil fuel and to prepare for climate change.[25] Transition Stroud is part of the Transition Towns network.[26] Shortly after she moved to Stroud in 2006, she joined Stroud Community Agriculture (SCA), and was elected to its "core group" of members.[27][28] SCA is a community-supported agriculture project, organised as a co-operative, which provides locally produced organic food for its members.[29]

She is one of the founders of the Stroud pound.

Other activities[edit]

Molly Scott Cato is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association for Heterodox Economics[30] and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Co-operative Studies, published by the UK Society for Co-operative Studies.[31] She formerly served as a member of the Advisory Group of the Equality Trust.[citation needed] She was, from November 2010 to September 2013, a director and trustee of Meadow Prospect,[32] the charitable branch of RCT Homes, a large social housing provider based in Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT), and itself an Industrial and provident society with charitable rules.[33] She is a Distinguished Fellow of the Schumacher Institute.[34]

Together with Patrick Adams and her then partner, Christopher Busby, she founded Green Audit, an environmental consultancy and publishing organisation, in 1992, but later left the organisation, which continues to be run under Busby's direction.[35][36]

Scott Cato supports the EU boycott of goods from illegal Israeli settlements beyond the Green Line, thinks that this boycott should be widened, and supports measures to ensure that the illegal settlements should be excluded from EU relations with Israel. Her sympathy for the Palestinians dates back to time spent teaching in the West Bank when she was a student.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The South West England electoral region includes the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.
  2. ^ According to her declaration of member's interests, Scott Cato retained her title of Professor after her election as MEP.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Molly SCOTT CATO". Europa. European Parliament. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Molly Scott Cato". Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Craig, Tara (29 May 2014). "Election success for Quakers". The Friend (London). Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Declaration of Members' Financial Interests" (PDF). Europa. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Molly Scott Cato". Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Molly Scott Cato". RSA. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Molly Scott Cato". Google+. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Scott Cato, Molly. "Green Economist - Home". Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Cardiff Institute for Co-operative Stuties (CICS) - Staff". Cardiff Metropolitan University. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Members Of Parliament in Lower Westwood, Bradford-on-avon, Wiltshire". This is Wiltshire. 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Professor Molly Scott Cato". University of Roehampton. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Dorling, Danny. "Green economics: an introduction to theory, policy and practice: Molly Scott Cato". Journal of Eonomic Geography (Oxford Journals). doi:10.1093/jeg/lbp028. Retrieved 1 June 2014.  also available at
  13. ^ Scott Cato 2004, p. xv
  14. ^ a b "Profile: Councillor Molly Cato". Stroud District Council. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Warne, Chris (15 May 2012). "Labour, Lib Dems and Greens set for political talks". Stroud News & Journal. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Falconer, Ben (6 June 2014). "Stroud MEP resigns council post". Stroud Life. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "Molly Scott-Cato: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "1996 Elections - List of Candidates". Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Euro elections: Stroud's Molly Scott Cato is first Green MEP for south west". Gloucester Citizen. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Hawkins, Oliver; Miller, Vaughne (18 June 2014), European Parliament Elections 2014 - Commons Library Research Paper (pdf), House of Commons Library, p. 26, retrieved 20 June 2014 
  21. ^ "European Parliamentary Election Wales - Notice of Poll". Regional Returning Officer for Wales. 13 May 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  22. ^ Mata, Will (4 July 2014). "Former Stroud councillor Molly Scott Cato makes first appearance in European Parliament (From Stroud News and Journal)". Stroud News & Journal. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "Stroud Common Wealth - Directors". Stroud Common Wealth Company Limited. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Stroud Common Wealth - Home". Stroud Common Wealth Company Limited. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Transition Stroud - Start somewhere". Transition Stroud. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Transition Initiatives starting with 'S'". Transition Network. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  27. ^ Scott Cato, Molly (5 June 2009). "Stroud Community Agriculture". the Friend. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  28. ^ "The Story of CSA in Stroud" (pdf). CSA Stroud. 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "The farm that feeds its shareholders". BBC Online. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "Officers and Management Committee 2013-2014". Association for Heterodox Eonomics. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  31. ^ "Editorial board". Journal of Co-operative Studies. UK Society for Co-operative Studies. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  32. ^ "SARAH MARGARET (MOLLY) SCOTT CATO". OpenCorporates. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  33. ^ "Report of the Trustees for the period 1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014" (pdf). Pontypridd: Meadow Prospect. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  34. ^ "People - The Schumacher Institute". Schumacher Institute. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  35. ^ "About » Green Audit". Green Audit. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  36. ^ "SARAH MARGARET SCOTT CATO". OpenCorporates. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  37. ^ "Responses from Molly Scott-Cato". Palestine Solidarity Campaign. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014. I have a longstanding concern for the Palestinian people, dating back to a spell spent on the West Bank teaching when I was a student. I have also introduced a motion to our conference calling on the party to organise a campaign to boycott Israeli produce and this is the strictest of my personal shopping boycotts.

    "The issue of Palestine is obviously vital to the Palestinian people but it is also obvious that the festering injustice in that region is feeding global insecurity. As a Quaker I am committed to seeking out the causes of war and the situation in Israel-Palestine seems to me the most glaring contemporary example.


by Molly Scott Cato
with other authors
Papers and articles

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]