Friends of the Earth Scotland and World Development Movement took their campaign to Scotland’s largest coal fired power station, as MSPs released a report [1] calling on the Scottish Government to invest in cleaner energy supplies.

The 10m high inflatable dinosaur made a surprise visit to Longannet power station in Fife as part of the ‘No More Carbon Dinosaurs’ campaign [2] to highlight the urgent need to reduce our dependence on unabated fossil fuels such as coal.

In the week after the Scottish Parliament passed the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill, it is more pressing than ever to rapidly decarbonise our energy supplies. Scotland’s very own carbon dinosaurs at Longannet and Cockenzie, which are approaching the ends of their working lives, already account for almost 20% of Scotland’s current CO2 emissions.

Today, the Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee today released their energy inquiry report, calling for Longannet to be fitted with emissions-capturing technology as soon as possible. The Committee also made welcome recommendations that the Government should:
– significantly increase investment in reducing energy demand and fuel poverty to £100 million and £170m annually over the next ten years,
– promote the decentralisation of our electricity system to increase individual, community and municipal-scale production
– unlock Scotland’s potential for renewable energy
The committee also concluded that there would be no need for new nuclear power stations in Scotland.

Friends of the Earth Scotland chief executive Duncan McLaren said:

“Coal is the most polluting fuel, and Longannet is the UK’s second largest source of CO2 after Drax. To be credible on climate change, the Scottish Government must use its planning powers [3] to prevent any new coal power stations being built without full-scale technology to capture the damaging emissions, as well as supporting proposals to retro-fit capture technology at Longannet.

“We warmly welcome the Committee’s recommendations on demand management, energy efficiency and renewable energy. These are the central pillars of a 21st Century energy strategy. With the right policies in place, there is no need for new coal in Scotland. However, if the Scottish Government approves any new coal power, it must have large scale carbon capture and storage running from the outset”

Liz Murray, Head of Campaigns, World Development Movement Scotland said:

“300,000 people are already dying every year due to climate change [4]. The vast majority of these are in developing countries, which have contributed virtually nothing to the problem.  Developing countries need to see rich countries not only committing to reduce emissions, but actually bringing in policies now to ensure those emissions reductions happen. The Scottish Government must rule out dirty coal before the international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December this year if they are to have any credibility there.”

ENDS

Photos available to download
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For more information, please contact:

Corinne Evans, Friends of the Earth Scotland Tel: 0131 243 2722, to re-direct to the mobile call 0131 243 2715 Email: cevans@foe-scotland.org.uk
or
Jane Herbstritt, World Development Movement, Tel. 0131 2432730 Email: jane@wdmscotland.org.uk

Notes to Editors

[1] The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee today released “Determining and delivering on Scotland’s energy future” as a result of their energy inquiry; it is available at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/eet/reports-09/eer09-07-…

[2] Friends of the Earth Scotland and World Development Movement are pressing the Scottish Government to ensure that no new coal plant is built in Scotland unless it meets a tough ‘emissions performance standard’ (EPS). This would ensure that emissions capturing technology would be up and running on new coal power plants from day one.

[3] The Scottish Government can use its planning powers under Section 36 of the Electricity Act to prevent new, unabated coal capacity in Scotland, and to implement an EPS. The Government has already consulted on these powers a decision is expected before the end of the year.

[4] Global Humanitarian Forum, “The anatomy of a silent crisis”. A comprehensive report documenting the global impact of climate change on human society today, launched in London on 29 May 2009 by Kofi Annan.

Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to the problem of climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. Friends of the Earth Scotland is an independent Scottish charity SC003442.