Today the Scottish Government has rejected Chancellor Osborne’s proposal regarding the Fossil Fuel Levy announced in last week’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Chief Executive Duncan McLaren said:

“Osborne might have seen his proposal as a cunning wheeze, but from the Scottish Government’s perspective it must look more like a Faustian pact: find ways to cut existing expenditure even more severely, so as to spend dedicated money on renewables, in return for which, three or four years hence, the Green Investment Bank would ring-fence for Scotland no more money that it would have invested here anyway.

“Worse still, the UK Government appears to have deliberately upped the ante by excluding Scotland and the other devolved nations from access to the £60m fund established to upgrade ports to service the offshore renewables industry.

“Rather than putting pressure on the Scottish Government to cut vital expenditure on education, health or energy efficiency, Westminster should free up the fossil fuel levy funding for urgent additional investment in renewables; and establish a genuine Green Investment Bank as soon as possible. This could deliver critical capital investment in clean energy, energy saving and resource efficiency across the whole of the UK.

“In the interim, nonetheless, the Scottish Government would be well served by cutting, or at least delaying, capital spend on major road building projects that will increase carbon emissions for little if any economic benefit, such as as the Forth Crossing or Aberdeen Bypass. That would free up cash to redirect to urgent green energy investments that will cut carbon and create jobs.”

ENDS

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

The proposal in the Comprehensive Spending Review was to add £250 million to the Green Investment Bank capital in 2013, on condition that in the interim the Scottish Government drew down and spent the ‘fossil fuel levy’ funds, while reducing other expenditure by a equivalent amount.

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 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. www.foe-scotland.org.uk