The First Minister today announced that Scottish Enterprise will provide £4.9 million grant support towards a £31 million subsea oil and gas campus in Montrose. This centre will develop equipment to enable oil and gas extraction in some of the most dangerous and hard to access resources.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“It is very disappointing to see the First Minister claiming climate leadership one minute and announcing support for companies taking oil and gas exploration to its riskiest limits the next.

“Only last week the Scottish Government’s announcement of new climate change legislation was met with widespread criticism for failing to go far enough in tackling the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced. The last thing we need now is to be pouring public money into companies going after ever riskier and harder to access oil and gas resources.

“The climate science is clear that we absolutely have to move away from fossil fuels if we want to avoid catastrophic warming. That means planning a transition away from oil and gas that is fair and just to the workers and communities currently dependent on jobs in that sector. It means directing investment towards the low carbon economy and ensuring that good quality jobs are created here in Scotland as we move away from fossil fuels.

“The Scottish Government must take a more joined up approach to tackling the problem of climate change and developing a more resilient economy. The creation of a Just Transition Commission, a Scottish National Investment Bank and a government owned energy company provide a crucial opportunity to move in the right direction, but this will only happen if a low carbon approach is enshrined across the board in all government decision making.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The First Minister announced £4.9 million funding support from Scottish Enterprise today to Baker Hughes subsea centre for excellence campus. https://www.scottish-enterprise-mediacentre.com/news/scotlands-first-minister-announces-gbp-31-million-boost-for-global-oil-and-gas-manufacturing-campus
    The centre will develop equipment for deepwater oil and gas exploration including some of the most challenging environments worldwide. The risks of deepwater oil and gas extraction were demonstrated by the devastating effects of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 which killed 11 people and caused the biggest oil spill in US waters.
  2. Last week the Scottish Government published its new climate change bill which aims to deliver on the Paris Agreement to stop global warming at 1.5oC. Scotland’s fair share of reducing global emissions would require a 2030 target of 77% reduction and a 2040 target of 100% reduction or net zero emissions. The Scottish Government’s proposed targets fall far short of that at 66% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. https://foe.scot/press-release/scottish-governments-climate-change-bill-hugely-disappointing/
  3. The Scottish Government’s 2017 Programme for Government announced the establishment of a Just Transition Commission, a Scottish National Investment Bank and a government owned energy company https://foe.scot/press-release/prog-govt-2017-reaction/
  4. 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, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.