New fossil fuels are a huge risk with our climate future. The UN Secretary-General has described investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure as “moral and economic madness”.  
Yet despite the clear evidence of climate breakdown, the Scottish Government is considering approving the building of a new gas burning power station in Peterhead.  

So that’s why, on the first day of the UN climate talks in Dubai, we went to the front door of the Scottish Parliament to highlight the huge dangers of this proposal from energy giants SSE and Equinor.

We demonstrated how no part of this plan stands up to scrutiny, if you look too closely the whole thing will collapse. 

'No new Peterhead gas' protestors at front of Scottish Parliament
Credit: Lesley Martin / Friends of the Earth Scotland

We had huge playing cards specially designed up with graphics highlighting different problems with the Peterhead gas expansion plans. These are just a few of the issues with the project:

Climate breakdown 

Peterhead power station is already the worst polluter in Scotland and this plan would see it get even worse. Burning fossil fuels is driving the extreme weather people are enduring on every continent.  

Whether it is flooding in Brechin, wildfires in California or drought causing famine for tens of millions of people in east Africa, we can be sure that new fossil fuels will worsen these climate impacts.  

Credit: Lesley Martin / Friends of the Earth Scotland

Carbon capture failures 

The whole Peterhead project is built on the rotten foundations of carbon capture. The developers claim that this unreliable technology will capture more pollution than literally any other power station has in history. CCS is being used as attempted greenwash to prolong the life of fossil fuel. 

Household energy Bills  

Fossil fuels have driven up household energy bills to record highs in recent years, yet this plan would lock people in Scotland into fossil fuel use for another 25 years. This would leave people at the mercy of global gas markets for the price of energy when we should be transitioning to affordable, reliable renewables.  

Energy company profits  

SSE made £565 million in just the past 6 months – that’s over £3milion every day. This development is about keeping their profitable polluting business going and their wealthy shareholders happy.  

The precarious house of cards collapses. Credit: Lesley Martin / Friends of the Earth Scotland

Fossil fuels  

Building a new gas burning station which will run for the next 25 years will create 25 years’ worth of demand for fossil fuels. This is a perfect excuse for companies to say we need keep on drilling and exploring for more gas in the North Sea and beyond. As a country we should be doing everything we can to reduce the demand for oil and gas, not further locking us this system that only works for big polluters.  

Global need to phase out oil and gas

We chose to do this today as the First Minister is in Dubai for the UN climate conference COP28 where the urgent need to phase out fossil fuels is expected to be a focus of intense discussions. It would be hypocritical for Humza Yousaf to go and talk up Scotland’s climate plans whilst his Ministers are thinking of approving new fossil fuels at home.  

Instead of backing new fossil fuels, 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 bring widespread benefits such as improved public transport, ensuring warm homes and renewable energy run in the public interest. 

If you want to take action to help the campaign to stop new gas at Peterhead, then please sign the petition below or donate to support our efforts