‘The coal era is over’ Co-leader Lorna Slater announces at Scottish Green conference

Scotland’s ambition to be a fully fossil free nation has moved closer after the government agreed to adopt a preferred position of offering no support for coal extraction, the Scottish Greens have announced.

Co-leader Lorna Slater MSP, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, confirmed the history making move in a speech to her party’s conference in Dundee, with the Scottish Government adopting a preferred policy position of no support for coal extraction in Scotland, the same process that was followed for fracking"

She also challenged the UK Government to follow Scotland’s lead and rule out approval for any coal operations in England too. 

Ms Slater told the conference:

“While we use the powers available to us to deliver on our climate commitments, the Tory Government in Westminster are using theirs to deliver for their friends in the fossil fuel industry.

“In just the last few weeks they have opened up our seas to more oil and gas production, brought back fracking to England, threatened to ban solar farms, and refused to put a windfall tax on the obscene profits of the fossil fuel giants.

“These are the actions of climate criminals, and we must oppose the Tories every step of the way.”

“A transition is not just moving towards something, it’s also about moving away from something. We have to leave fossil fuels in the ground. Fossil fuels in Scotland and the North Sea are no exception.

“That’s why the Scottish Government opposed Cambo. That’s why we will fight the UK Government’s reckless pursuit to extract every last drop of oil and gas. That is why Scotland stands strong against fracking.”

She added:

”Right now, the UK Government is considering opening a major new coal mine in Cumbria. They have even issued a coal licence in South Scotland. Make no mistake, this is Westminster climate denial. It would be the final nail in the coffin for the UK’s international reputation. It must be stopped.

“That is why, today, I can announce that the Scottish Government is adopting our preferred position of no support for coal extraction in Scotland.

“Scotland - the country that helped bring the coal-fired industrial revolution to the world - has drawn a line. The coal era is over. And I’m calling on the UK Government to follow us. To make the right call for once. To ban coal extraction for good."