Alison Johnstone has today commented on a new report commissioned by Cluff Natural Resources PLC, which outlines potential economic benefits of underground coal gasification.
Johnstone urged the Scottish Government to not be tempted by the short-sighted proposals fracking companies are putting forward, but to focus instead on proper investment in a controlled transition to a sustainable economy.
"We must not be tempted by the short-sighted and damaging proposals that fossil fuel companies are putting forward on underground coal gasification. We know that these companies will make big profits from driving climate change and exploiting the land under our communities. But we need to be clear - their plans are not in the interest of Scottish people, but in the interest of private stakeholders.
"We've heard countless stories of fracking causing irreversible environmental damage elsewhere. There is simply not enough evidence to prove that underground coal gasification would not have the same, detrimental impacts it's had in countries like Australia and the US. We will never get long-term energy security or sustainable jobs and growth out of the fossil fuel industry. Instead of scraping the bottom of the fossil fuels barrel with this short-term distraction, let’s direct the vast engineering expertise we have into decommissioning and into building a truly sustainable low carbon economy that has a future.
"In our recent report on the future of Scotland's economy, the Scottish Greens showed that with proper investment, we could create 200,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector, in decommissioning, in green chemistry and in energy efficiency. This far outweighs the jobs that would be created if we allowed companies like Cluff Resources to forge ahead with fracking. The Scottish Government has to wake up and recognise that for us to lead the way in a controlled transition to a safe, sustainable, prosperous economy, we must stop pandering to the whims of big fossil fuel corporations and focus on the long-term welfare of Scotland and its people.”