Scotland can make the transition to a clean energy economy, putting the skills of energy industry workers at the core.Mark Ruskell
As the Longannet coal-fired power station in Fife prepares to close down today (24 March), Mark Ruskell, Environment and Climate Change spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Mid Scotland and Fife, said:
"The closure of Longannet is a monumental day in Scotland and Europe's journey to a world free from the ravages of climate change. Scotland can make the transition to a clean energy economy, putting the skills of energy industry workers at the core.
"The Scottish Government must take a key role in driving progress rather than relying on market forces. That means investing in skills development and infrastructure needed to attract energy businesses to Fife and across Scotland, as well as playing an entrepreneurial role as a promoter and developer of new renewable energy technology projects.
"It’s staggering that the Scottish Government has already retreated from supporting a embarrassingly modest £9m investment into Fife’s post-Longannet action plan, we need far bolder action and intervention from the public sector.
"The immediate removal of heavy coal trains off the rails from Stirling to Kincardine will bring instant relief from the devastating night time noise and vibration impacts these constant freight journeys have inflicted on surrounding communities. In the medium term, Longannet’s closure will free up capacity to open up passenger rail services again from Dunfermline to Stirling, connecting communities and delivering major economic opportunities along the Forth."