Campaigners have slammed Ayrshire Power on the day they lodge a formal application for what would be the UK’s first coal power station to be built since 1974.

Friends of the Earth Scotland is part of a coalition of organisations opposing the proposal because of the impact on the local community, on the global climate, and on communities internationally who will be providing the coal to fire this development.

The plant is only planning to capture a fraction of its emissions – it would still be massively polluting and make a mockery of Scotland’s much vaunted climate change ambitions.

The Scottish Government included the development in the closing moments of consultation on the National Planning Framework. This has resulted in local people not having a chance to express their opinions.

Research carried out by an independent energy analysts on behalf of Friends of the Earth Scotland has shown that the power station is not required and that Scotland can meet its energy needs through renewables.

The location includes a Site of Special Scientific Interest, which a vital area for wading birds and one of the best areas for wildlife in the Clyde Estuary.

Friends of the Earth Scotland has also raised concerns that the coal used to fire the power station will be imported from Colombia.

Juliet Swann, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns, said:

“We have to reduce our impact on the planet, and we know Scotland has an enormous potential supply of renewable energy. We can move towards a cleaner, greener, fairer future but in order to do so we must choose to invest in sustainable and just solutions. Just last week, the Scottish Parliament urged the government to be more ambitious in our plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Additional coal generation will increase emissions, distract investment from renewables and fundamentally fail to deliver environmental justice.

“We are also extremely concerned that Ayrshire Power plan to import coal from Colombia. Friends of the Earth Colombia has reported that mining operations there pollute water supplies, devastate agricultural land and cause communities to be displaced. Opposition to mining in Colombia is widespread but dangerous, only late last year a well-known anti-mining activist was murdered.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to editors

“The Power of Scotland Renewed” report shows that it is possible to have a clean, green energy supply in Scotland. By 2030 renewable energy can meet between 60% and 143% of Scotland’s projected annual electricity demand, depending of the level of investment in energy saving and new renewables. The analysis also demonstrates that it is entirely plausible that no large-scale fossil fired generating capacity would remain online by 2030. www.foe-scotland.org.uk/powerofscotlandrenewed

The development at Hunterston will have 25% Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) from day 1 – we believe that CCS should be demonstrated on existing plants before new build goes ahead without being 100% confident of being able to use CCS on 100% of the plant.

Friends of the Earth Scotland is working in an informal coalition with a number of other organisations opposed to the development at Hunterston including RSPB Scotland and WWF Scotland. We are also supporting the legal action being taken against the inclusion of the Hunterston development in the National Planning Framework.

Friends of the Earth Scotland is the country’s leading independent environmental campaigning organisation, and is the only organisation in Scotland that is working for environmental justice, campaigning for the planet and its people. www.foe-scotland.org.uk