This Saturday we’ll be hitting the road (well, rails and water actually) and heading to Brodick, Arran, for the next stop on our ‘No to Hunterston’ Roadshow. We’ve been working with environment, poverty, faith and local campaigners to put on the stalls, which aim to alert local people to the fact that they may soon be living in the shadow of a new coal-fired power station.

Ayrshire Power plans to build a new 1852MW coal-fired power station at Hunterston on the North Ayrshire coastline. We’re concerned about the impact on the local environment, and also about the implications for our climate change targets – the power station would pump out an extra 8 million tonnes of Co2 every year. You can read more about our reasons for campaigning in our Hunterston campaign pages.

It’s been great working with other organisations on this, and particularly with local campaigners CONCH (Communities Opposed to New Coal at Hunterston). I love going out to meet people who are getting organised and active about resisting polluting developments. Often local people have a real

attachment to their area that makes sense – developments that destroy local wildlife and beauty spots are often damaging to the health of the wider environment too.

However, it’s really something when groups of residents can address their local concerns, while keeping the bigger picture in mind. For example, CONCH is thinking about the impact the development will have on climate change, the conditions of coal-miners across the world as well as the potential impacts locally.

Our Low Carbon Power campaign is all about linking local situations with the bigger picture. There is a cost to our energy use. It’s always tough to have a development on your doorstep, but there is a difference

between a coal-fired power station and a wind farm, for example. The latter is noisy, dirty and unpleasant to live next to, as well as producing Co2 that impacts much more widely. And this doesn’t even start to address the impact of coal mining in Scotland and across the world.

Renewable energy has a cost too – that is why residents living near these developments often object – but there are less damaging effects both locally and on our fragile global eco-systems. As a society perhaps we should consider how to share the costs and benefits of energy use more justly, and in a way that respects natural ecological limits.

Our latest report, The Power of Scotland Secured, shows that we do not need more coal-fired power stations. I’m hoping to have some good chats with people in Arran about all this, and that they can persuade their councillors to vote NO! to new coal at Hunterston.

If you live on Arran, you can find us at Brodick Co-op from 11am – 4pm on Saturday 22 January.