Thu 23 Sep, 2010

For immediate release 23 September 2010

Today's Holyrood debate on a low carbon economy will divide the parties into those who want action and those who simply want to talk about the issue, Greens argued. Almost ten years ago, Scottish Ministers published a report showing Scotland's capacity for renewables was at least 59.1GW, almost six times the country's electricity usage, and more recent figures from Scottish and Southern Energy suggest the potential is far higher, perhaps up to 160GW of offshore wind alone.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"There's much more to the idea of a low carbon economy than simply switching to renewables, vital as that is. Every aspect of the economy must be truly sustainable, from transport and housing to manufacturing and banking. Scotland has for too long relied on the declining oil and gas industry and on the whims of international inward investment. It's time Ministers started properly supporting Scottish innovation and the kind of local businesses that won't just move abroad when the exchange rate changes. It's also time they abandoned their transport and industrial policies, ideas which would have been outdated in the 1960s.

"Clean energy will be crucial, though. Scotland has the best potential in Europe for many forms of renewable power, especially wind, wave and tidal, but Scottish and UK Governments have spent too long talking about that potential instead of making it a reality. It's time to change the approach altogether and set a date for turning Scotland 100% renewable, perhaps even before 2020. All the additional power we generate beyond our own needs could then exported to our neighbours in the UK and beyond. That's the vision we need for a low-carbon economy, not the SNP's tinkering at the edges."

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