Scottish Greens are warning SNP ministers to be careful that proposed new national planning guidelines don't risk Scotland's important carbon reduction and renewable energy targets.

Ministers want to extend the distance between wind farms and communities, and prevent wind farms being built in National Parks and National Scenic Areas.

Proposals also include unproven carbon capture and storage technology, environmentally-damaging airport expansion and fossil fuel generation at Cockenzie and Longannet.

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

"Ministers are right to resist calls from the anti-wind lobby to legislate for a blanket ban on turbines but it is equally important we don't compromise our ability to meet our carbon reduction and renewable energy targets. Steering developments away from important landscapes and habitats must be balanced against the need for a transition to a sustainable society. The Trump debacle shows ministers can ignore the need for balance when it suits them.

"We agree with the idea that local authorities should be able to consider the impacts on communities and the environment during applications for coal-bed methane and fracking, and we hope the language around restoring coal sites is met with action. But SNP ministers have a long record of failure to recognise the need to move away from fossil fuels."

Scottish Planning Policy consultation

Point 167: "The planning system should recognise the continuing role of indigenous coal, oil and gas in maintaining a diverse energy
mix and improving energy security; minimise the impacts of extraction on local communities, built and natural heritage, and the water environment; secure the sustainable restoration of mineral sites to a relevant use after working has ceased."

Point 213: "Proposals for energy generation from non-renewable sources may be acceptable where carbon capture and storage or other emissions reduction infrastructure is either already in place or committed within the development’s lifetime.

Point 218: "Community separation: a separation distance of up to 2.5 km is recommended between wind farms and cities, towns and villages identified in the local development plan. This is to reduce visual impact but decisions on individual developments should take into account specific local circumstances and geography."

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