Grangemouth closure threat shows urgent need for Mossmorran transition plan

We need a Just Transition plan for Mossmorran.

Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell has called for all parties to work together with workers, trade unions, the Scottish Government and site operators to climate-proof the future of the giant Mossmorran gas plant in Fife.

Speaking ahead of a Members’ Debate that Mr Ruskell is leading in parliament today on a Site-specific Just Transition for Mossmorran, the Scottish Green MSP called for MSPs from all parties to focus on the site, which is responsible for nearly 10% of Scotland’s industrial emissions.

Mr Ruskell, who represents the Mid-Scotland and Fife region, has said that the announced closure of the Petroineos site at Grangemouth, Scotland’s last remaining oil refinery, underlines the urgent need for a just transition plan for Mossmorran.

In 2022, Mr Ruskell commissioned a study by Transition Economics - A Meaningfully Just Transition for Mossmorran: The Case for a Site-Specific Just Transition Process - that looked at global pressures on the site, its impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and what a workforce driven just transition could deliver for the site.

Mr Ruskell said: “Our planet is changing around us. The rate at which temperatures are rising is not forgiving, and we are running out of  time.

“Any credible plan for decarbonisation in Scotland must also work to tackle emissions at Mossmorran. As one of Scotland’s biggest polluters it underlines the scale of the challenge.

“The workers at Mossmorran are exceptionally skilled and could be a driving force for our journey to a greener and more sustainable future.

“The shock announcement at Grangemouth has made clear that workers, trade unions and communities must be at the forefront of our transition and the heart of our plans. They must not be treated as an afterthought.

“There are credible plans that can help us to decarbonise the plant and ensure its long term future. But it won't happen by itself. It needs all of us to work together. We have no time to waste. 

“It is our duty as politicians to do everything we can to map out the alternative future for sites like Mossmorran, and we must do so in a fair and just manner that leaves no workers or local communities behind.”

The text of Mr Ruskell’s motion

That the Parliament understands that the Mossmorran petrochemical site, in the Mid Scotland and Fife region, which comprises of Shell’s Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) Plant and ExxonMobil’s Fife Ethylene Plant, is responsible for nearly 10% of Scotland’s industrial emissions; notes the view that limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C and well below 2°C, in line with the Paris Agreement, will require rapid and sustained reductions in emissions across all sectors; understands that industry is the second-highest emitting sector in Scotland, and notes the view that a worker-led just transition for the sector is essential for reaching Scotland’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2045; notes the view that industrial decarbonisation plans cannot omit emissions from Mossmorran, and that a decarbonisation pathway for the site needs to be identified collaboratively with operators, workers, unions, and local and national governments at the earliest opportunity; understands that the two Mossmorran plants directly employ approximately 250 workers, and periodically many more through short-term maintenance contracts, and notes the belief that the process of just transition for Scotland’s industrial sites needs to be worker-led and delivered in a way that leaves nobody behind.