Climate campaigners have urged the First Minister to “put action to wind down fossil fuels at the core” of his Programme for Government today (5/9/23)

Campaigners point to the fact that the major environmental interventions during the first six months of the First Minister’s term have included scrapping key measures including enhanced protection of the marine environment and delaying the deposit return scheme.

The First Minister has refused to speak out against the controversial Rosebank oil field – the largest undeveloped field in the North Sea – and members of his cabinet criticised UK Labour announcement that they would not grant permission for new oil fields if they won the next general election.

As Europe was gripped by the deadly heatwave and the Greece wildfires began, Humza Yousaf travelled to Peterhead gas-fired power station – the single biggest source of pollution in Scotland – to demand subsidy for Shell’s carbon capture scheme at Acorn, a scheme which would only enable yet more drilling for oil.

Friends of the Earth Scotland climate and energy campaigner Caroline Rance commented,

“The time for timid climate politics must be over. Humza Yousaf must quickly get to grips with the climate science and the severity of the climate crisis and put action to wind down fossil fuels at the very core of his Government’s plans for coming years.

“This deadly summer of wildfire, floods and even water shortage warnings in Scotland show that there is no more time to waste with half measures or to listen to those demanding delays to environmental progress. Ministers need to speed to the transition away from fossil fuels, reject plans for a new polluting power station at Peterhead and finally join the campaign to stop the Rosebank oil field.

“Yousaf’s Government needs to supercharge plans that will improve lives as we move beyond fossil fuels such as delivering warm homes, prioritising public transport and putting a credible plan in place to transition workers from oil and gas to good green jobs.”

On the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Bill which is at Stage 1 of its legislative progress. Friends of the Earth Scotland Circular Economy Campaigner Kim Pratt said:

“The forthcoming Circular Economy Bill must tackle Scotland’s resource use, which has serious and extensive environmental and social impacts internationally. The vast majority of Scotland’s carbon footprint comes from the products and services we buy so we need strong consumption targets to change this. This would mean policies to encourage producers to make products last for longer, ensure they are easy to reuse and repair and to shift consumption patterns away from carbon intensive goods and services. 

“The climate crisis is a global problem, so we need to take responsibility for the impact which happens outside of our borders due to our consumption of materials.”

Notes to Editors

Rosebank is the biggest undeveloped oil field in the North Sea and if all the oil and gas contained within it is burned it will produce the equivalent CO2 emissions of the annual emissions of 28 low income countries.

Humza Yousaf refuses to say whether he thinks Rosebank should go ahead

VIDEO: ‘Will you say no to Rosebank?’ Yousaf pushed on oil field stance

Energy giant SSE wants to build an extra 910MW gas fired power station at Peterhead to run alongside the existing plant which is already Scotland’s most polluting site. The company was forced to admit that the new plant will increase emissions from the site which already belches out over 1 million tonnes of climate changing gas each year.

FoES are urging the Scottish Government to reject the plans.

Scottish Government must now reject Peterhead power station expansion plans

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.