Climate campaigners today collapsed a giant house of cards outside the Scottish Parliament to warn Ministers that plans to build a new fossil fuel burning power station at Peterhead were an unsafe gamble with our climate future.

The warning comes as the First Minister is in Dubai for the UN climate conference COP28 starting today. The urgent need to phase out fossil fuels are expected to be a focus of intense discussions over the next two weeks.

Press quality photos of the stunt are available at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1fDV-ENOAELwAM_sbFR5FyJw49SHpvvRw?usp=sharing

Campaigners are warning that approving new fossil fuel power at Peterhead would lock Scotland into using fossil fuels for decades to come, shackling household energy bills to prices set by volatile global gas markets and jeopardising a just transition for workers and communities in the North East.

Peterhead power station is already Scotland’s biggest single source of climate pollution and the expansion plans from SSE and Equinor aim to build another gas burning plant at the site. The developers say it would be burning gas for the next 25 years, well beyond Scotland’s target ‘net zero’ date.

Campaigners highlighted how that the whole Peterhead project is to be reliant on the unstable foundations of carbon capture – a technology which has already twice failed to come to reality at Peterhead. Over the past 20 years vast majority of carbon capture projects globally have either completely failed or not delivered the promised levels of carbon reductions.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s climate campaigner Alex Lee (they)

“The risky plans to build a new fossil fuel plant at Peterhead are constructed on a precarious house of cards. No part of this plan stands up to scrutiny, if you look too closely the whole thing will collapse. If the Scottish Government were to approve this gamble, it would further endanger people in Scotland through climate breakdown and exposing household energy bills to the greed of the fossil fuel industry for another 25 years.

“It’s hypocritical for the First Minister to be talking up Scotland’s climate efforts to international audiences whilst his Ministers are thinking about backing the burning of gas to power homes for decades to come. The only potential winners from a new gas-fired power station are the energy giants who will be able keep charging sky high prices to homes and businesses. Locking in new fossil fuel further jeopardises a just transition for workers and communities.

“Carbon capture has failed almost everywhere it has been tried. Peterhead exposes how this technology is little more than a greenwashing attempt to keep fossil fuel companies and their mates in business for a few more years.

“The Scottish Government should be investing in a fast and fair transition to reliable, affordable renewable energy that can create good green jobs and put workers’ and communities’ needs at its heart. The climate emergency demands working climate solutions that will improve people’s lives such as improved public transport, ensuring warm homes and renewable energy run in the public interest.”


Press quality photos of the stunt are available at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1fDV-ENOAELwAM_sbFR5FyJw49SHpvvRw?usp=drive_link

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.

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. https://theferret.scot/co2-emissions-surge-at-ineos-and-sse-sites/

SSE plc declared £565 million in pre-tax profits for the past 6 months. https://foe.scot/press-release/sse-scotlands-biggest-polluter-rakes-in-obscene-profits/

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s campaign to stop the approval of a new gas burning power station in Peterhead

A report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis described CCS as a “decarbonisation pipe dream”. Of the 13 CCS plants they examined, seven underperformed, two failed completely and one was mothballed.

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.