UK government must stop dragging us towards environmental disaster

The Scottish Greens are challenging the UK government to wake up to the reality of the climate crisis and reverse course on fossil fuels, rather than dragging us towards environmental disaster.

The calls come just days after the publication of the Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition plan.

The plan, published on Tuesday, calls for a halt to new oil and gas exploration licences and outlines plans for Scotland to lead a just transition to renewables.

The Scottish Greens Energy and Environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP said:

“With Scottish Greens in government we are entering an exciting new chapter in the growth of Scotland’s renewables and our transition away from fossil fuels.

"The plans and policies we have announced are not just good for our environment, they are also vital for our economy. They are an opportunity to invest in our communities and create thousands of well paid new jobs to underpin the transformation of our economy.

“The climate crisis is a global crisis and it needs all governments to show the same kind of leadership that Scotland is finally taking. 

“Even as the world burns, the UK government has committed to approving 100 new oil and gas exploration licences and is opening the first new coal mine for 30 years.

"These are not the actions of a government that is taking its climate responsibilities remotely seriously. Instead they are dragging us into climate destruction. 

“Even at this late stage, the Prime Minister and his colleagues can still abandon their climate-breaking plans and deliver the change that is so badly needed.

“This week Scotland took a big step towards a fairer, greener and better future for people and planet. It’s time for Westminster to do the same.”

The strategy includes proposals to

  • Substantially increase the current level of 13.4 Gigawatts (GW) of renewable electricity generation capacity, with an additional 20 GW by 2030, which could produce the equivalent of nearly 50% of current demand.
  • Increase the contributions of solar, hydro power and marine energy
  • Generate surplus electricity, allowing Scotland to export it and support decarbonisation across Europe
  • Consult on a presumption against new exploration for North Sea oil and gas