Environmental campaigners have welcomed the news that the Scottish Government’s position will be to oppose any future coal extraction.

Minister’s new ‘preferred policy position’ on coal will form part of the forthcoming Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan which will be consulted on later this year. Climate campaigners say that the Strategy must also ‘plot a clear path’ away from oil and gas if the country is to meet its climate commitments.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s head of campaigns Mary Church said:

“It is the right decision for the Scottish Government to want to shut the door on coal once and for all. Climate science is clear that there is no space for any new fossil fuels, let alone the most polluting coal, if we are to avoid truly catastrophic warming.

“This announcement should spell the end for New Age Exploration’s deep coal extraction ambitions in Dumfries and Galloway. It’s simply not reasonable to be contemplating opening new coal mines, given the climate emergency. It’s time for Westminster to put an end to coal too, starting by finally rejecting the proposal for a new coal mine in Cumbria.

“At this stage in the climate crisis there is no time left for any new fossil fuels of any kind, so the forthcoming Energy Strategy must also chart a clear path for Scotland to phase out oil and gas within the decade. The Scottish Government must seize this opportunity to ensure a fast and fair transition to a reliable, affordable energy system powered by renewables and run in the public interest.”


Scottish Government announcement https://www.gov.scot/publications/coal-extraction-preferred-policy-position/

Friends of the Earth Scotland response to the Scottish Government’s recent call for evidence on coal extraction https://foe.scot/resource/foes-response-to-scottish-government-coal-consultation/

For more about New Age Exploration’s plans to extract coal at Lochinvar, Dumfries and Galloway see https://www.coalaction.org.uk/2022/07/18/lochinvar-coal-mine/

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.