6 October, 2016 - 09:32

Today will be a big day in the history of energy production in Scotland. Mark Ruskell MSP

Anything less than an outright ban on burning coal for gas in Scotland’s seabeds will be deemed an environmental “failure” say the Scottish Greens.

A statement is expected at Holyrood today revealing the outcome of the “Review of Underground Coal Gasification”. Green MSPs are hoping that the Scottish Government follows the lead of the Australian state of Queensland in banning UCG.

Mark Ruskell MSP, climate & energy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

“Anything short of an outright ban on Underground Coal Gasification will be deemed as an environmental failure of the government to stand up to pressures from the oil and gas industry and instead fully commit itself to a renewables future. Communities, such as those around the Firth of Forth, will be watching today’s announcement with a degree of trepidation.

“We already know that UCG has caused groundwater contamination and produced toxic waste, and is becoming increasingly unpopular in Australia, South Africa and the US. The government of Queensland has sensibly banned the practice, stating that the environmental risks outweigh economic benefits. Now is the time to be investing in clean, renewable energy sources, not digging for more fossil fuels. It was reported that on one windy day this summer, wind turbines covered all of our electricity needs and we already know that Scotland is ‘the undisputed world leader’ in tidal energy. Today will be a big day in the history of energy production in Scotland.”

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