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Government urged to set end date for fossil fuels

This news post is over 1 year old

Green groups have responded to the Scottish Government's latest draft energy strategy.

Environmental campaigners have called for Scottish Ministers to set an end date for fossil fuels and chart a just and clear path to a renewable powered future as the government outlines an energy strategy to shape the next 25 years.

On Tuesday the Scottish Government published its draft Energy Strategy, setting out the Scottish Government’s policies on domestic production of energy, alongside a plan to reduce demand and build a resilient and secure future net zero energy system.

Also published was the first Just Transition Plan to ensure that, as the energy sector grows and changes, it benefits citizens, workers and communities.

The First Minister said Scotland’s “green jobs revolution” is underway, claiming the country is at “the forefront of the clean energy transition”. 

She added: “The current energy crisis has demonstrated how vulnerable our energy system is to international price shocks, while laying bare the need for structural reform to ensure affordability for consumers.

“This strategy will shape the next 25 years of energy production in Scotland. It provides an independent assessment of the future of the North Sea and shows that as we reduce Scotland’s dependence on oil and gas – as both generators and consumers – there is a huge environmental and economic opportunity to be seized.”

Despite the claims of being a world-leader, environmental charities and campaign groups have called for more work to be done on moving Scotland away from fossil fuels. 

Environmental campaigners have called for Ministers to set an end date for fossil fuels and chart a just and clear path to a renewable powered future.

The plans were revealed as continued burning of fossil fuels worsens the climate emergency and 2022 was officially declared Scotland’s hottest ever year. 

The United Nations warned in October that the world was on course for a catastrophic 2.8C of climate warming by the end of this century.

Oil companies declared tens of billions in profits in 2022 as millions of households struggled to pay their energy bills. 

Campaigners say that the Scottish Government must reduce overall energy demand through mass home insulation and public transport investment and ensure that our remaining energy needs are met with reliable, affordable renewables instead.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s head of campaigns, Mary Church, said: “The new Energy Strategy must chart a just and clear path away from our broken fossil fuel energy system that is hurting people and the planet, and transition Scotland to a climate-safe future with clean, affordable renewable energy for all.

“This is a crucial decade for action on the climate crisis so Ministers must ensure that the plan sets an end date for fossil fuels and commits to phasing out oil and gas.

“Through a mass rollout of  home insulation and boosting public transport we can reduce our overall demand for energy, improve people’s lives and help tackle the cost of living crisis.

“The Scottish Government must reject the dodgy technology of carbon capture and storage and fossil hydrogen which is being pushed by the profiteering oil and gas industry who want to keep us locked into this harmful system. By putting workers and communities at the heart of planning the transition to renewables we can ensure that we create a fairer, healthier Scotland that can meet its climate commitments.”

Fabrice Leveque, climate and energy policy manager at WWF Scotland, added: “In recent years Scotland has made great progress in cleaning up its electricity generation, it’s now time to put the same effort into moving away from using fossil fuels to heat our homes and transport us around. 

“We can’t afford to rely on volatile and polluting fossil fuels anymore. It’s vital that this new energy strategy sets out how Scotland can make the most of its abundant renewable resources, cut carbon, create jobs and help tackle the cost of living in a fair way.

“In particular, clarity is needed on how the power sector can support electrification of heat and transport and what plans are for decarbonising heavy industry.”