Scottish Greens are expressing astonishment that a report on the idea of a national fund from energy revenues fails to consider the climate implications of continued fossil fuel extraction.
In light of the report by the Scottish Government's Fiscal Commission, Scottish Greens are also renewing their call for the growth of Scotland's renewables sector to be harnessed for maximum public benefit.
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:
"While the idea of building up a fund from Scotland’s energy assets makes a great deal of sense, it’s astonishing that the Fiscal Commission has not one word to say about the urgent need for transition away from fossil fuels. If the Scottish Government is remotely serious about its own stated commitments on climate change, it must accept, as the Climate Change Minister appeared to yesterday, that the oil and gas industry is immensely overvalued, and ending our reliance on it is both an environmental and an economic imperative.
"Scotland is already generating substantial energy from renewables, and as wave and tidal schemes come online through the 2020s this will grow significantly. We should be focused on how to harness the economic benefits of the whole energy sector for the greatest public benefit. As a finite commodity fossil fuels can only offer economic benefits for the next few decades. We must think ahead and renewables are the key to that."
At Topical Questions in the Scottish Parliament yesterday (1 Oct) Patrick Harvie asked climate change minister Paul Wheelhouse about the new IPCC report on climate change and the growing consensus that most of the world’s reserves of fossil fuels must be left unburnt if we are to avoid serious climate change.
Mr Wheelhouse answered:
"I do not have a figure to give Mr Harvie for the percentage of fossil fuels that I would like to see remain under the earth, but I accept the point that, if we were to burn all the fossil fuels in the world, we would be doing untold damage to our environment."