Energy Strategy ‘shies away from the big decisions’
Environmental campaigners have reacted to the Scottish Government’s new Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan.
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s head of campaigns Mary Church said:
“Our current fossil fuelled energy system is seriously harming people and the climate yet there is very little by way of new measures in this long-awaited Scottish Government Energy Strategy to tackle the climate crisis or the immediate impacts of the cost of energy crisis.
“After two years of preparation, this is a document chock full of existing commitments that we already know are insufficient to meet our climate targets, never mind the surge in action we need to see this decade. The Scottish Government has shied away from taking the big decisions we know are needed like setting an end date for fossil fuels in our energy system within the decade, and committing to phasing out oil and gas in line with science and justice.
“The draft strategy misses an open goal by failing to dramatically ramp up action on energy efficiency and public transport which can help improve lives, cut bills and deliver on climate commitments.
“The Scottish Government must reject the dodgy technology of carbon capture and storage and fossil hydrogen which is being pushed by the profiteering oil and gas industry who want to keep us locked into this harmful system.
“The Strategy contains lots of fine talk about job creation but no detail about how they will be secured. A huge dose of realism is required for many of the jobs estimates, particularly on potential for the hydrogen sector.
“By putting workers and communities at the heart of planning the transition to renewables we can ensure that we create a fairer, healthier Scotland that can meet its climate commitments.
“2022 was the hottest year on record in Scotland. We are drinking in the last chance saloon for any hope of staying within the critical 1.5 threshold. For Scotland to play its part in tackling the climate crisis the final draft of this strategy needs to decisively end the era of fossil fuels.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Scottish Government Energy Strategy https://www.gov.scot/publications/draft-energy-strategy-transition-plan/
Friends of the Earth Scotland briefings on the Energy Strategy https://foe.scot/resource/esjtp-briefings/
Nicola Sturgeon announced in October 2021 that the Scottish Government would no longer support drilling for every last drop of oil and gas in the North Sea – a policy known as ‘maximising economic recovery’ https://foe.scot/press-release/scottish-government-to-end-their-support-for-drilling-every-last-drop-of-oil/
Last week the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs at Westminster called for an end to oil and gas licensing, well before 2050. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5803/cmselect/cmenvaud/109/report.html#heading-2
Licensing and approval of oil and gas is reserved to the UK Government. The Scottish Government frequently speaks out on reserved matters where its policies diverge from the UK Government.
Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.