The Scottish Government has been warned by climate campaigners not to ‘go down a dangerous path’ in following the UK Government’s approach to energy.

Campaigners expressed their concerns after a speech today (12/3/24) from UK Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho in support of new gas burning power stations, despite the huge climate harm they would cause.

The Scottish Government is currently considering approving a proposal from energy giants SSE and Equinor to build an additional gas burning power station at Peterhead. The existing Aberdeenshire site is already Scotland’s biggest climate polluter and this plan would see fossil fuels burned for electricity well past the 2045 ‘net zero’ target date for the country.

The UK Climate Change Committee – independent advisors to the Scottish and UK governments – have made it clear that new fossil fuels will do nothing to lower bills. The cost-of-living crisis has been driven by the price of gas, which is set internationally and is will continue to leave future billpayers vulnerable to geopolitical shocks.

‘Oil companies writing Government policy’

Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner Alex Lee (they/them) commented,

“This is another clear example of oil and gas companies writing UK Government energy policy. Fossil fuels must not be part of Scotland’s energy future – with or without the empty promises of carbon capture.

“The UK Government is simply parroting the fossil fuel industry when it talks about energy security because it is in these companies’ interests to continue business as usual for as long as possible to keep raking in record breaking profits.”

“The Scottish Government is considering following the UK Government down this dangerous path by approving a new gas burning power station at Peterhead. Such a reckless decision would undermine the transition to renewables that Ministers have claimed they support. This project by greedy energy companies will trap Scottish households into years of paying sky high energy bills driven by the international price of gas.

“The best way to ensure true energy security and a liveable planet is to invest in publicly owned renewable energy which will keep bills stable, provide good green jobs and free us from climate wrecking fossil fuels.”


Notes to Editors

UK Government release “Energy Secretary takes action to reinforce UK energy supply”

UKCCC letter to ministers warning that increasing fossil fuel supply will have marginal impact on household energy bills

The Scottish Government are considering an application from energy giants SSE and Equinor to build a new gas-fired power station at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, in addition to the existing gas plant.

Press quality photos of a stunt in opposition to Peterhead power station expansion are available at:

Official figures from SEPA show the existing plant has been the single worst polluter in Scotland for the past 5 years, belching out over 1.35million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2022.

UN Secretary Guterres said in 2022 that building new fossil fuel infrastructure was “moral and economic madness”

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.