Decision to rule out UCG welcome; robust planning guidance needed
Mark Ruskell MSP, Climate & Energy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (6 Oct) welcomed the Scottish Government's decision to rule out the use of Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) but warned that robust planning guidance will be needed to enforce the move.
In May 2014, Green MSPs brought a motion to the Holyrood chamber calling for a ban on all forms on unconventional gas extraction to protect communities and the climate, but all other parties voted against it.
Mark Ruskell MSP said:
"It's been a long battle and I congratulate the many communities groups and individuals around Scotland who have stood resolutely against UCG. It has taken time for Scottish Ministers to realise the devastating impact that this dangerous technology would have on the local environment, workers and our potential to develop low-carbon industries.
"It's essential that the relevant planning guidance is brought to Parliament as soon as possible. The minister's intention is good but actions are what counts.
"Of course, uncertainty remains for communities across central Scotland as the government's reports on the separate issue of fracking, which were due this summer, have yet to be published. Let's hope today's ruling out of UCG indicates the direction of travel."