Call to turn around Tory legacy on renewables

Eilidh Whiteford MP.
Eilidh Whiteford MP.

North East SNP MPs have called on the Tories to stop “stifling investment” in Carbon Capture Storage technology and put it “at the top of the agenda”.

A recent report from the National Audit Office revealed the UK Government spent a staggering £100 million on a competition for developing ground-breaking carbon capture and storage technology before scrapping the plans - the scheme would have led to emissions from heavy industry stored permanently underground.

The project - which could have brought up to 600 jobs to Peterhead - was scrapped by the then Chancellor George Osborne at the eleventh hour, betraying Scotland’s energy sector and wasting taxpayer’s money to ultimately deliver nothing.

Eilidh Whiteford MP said: “Not only did the UK Government destroy the opportunity for 600 jobs to be created in Peterhead, they spent £100million doing it.

“Banff and Buchan has been deeply affected by the downturn in the oil and gas industry over the past two years and the prospect of building innovative technologies in our own back garden was an opportunity the community was ready to embrace.

“The SNP wants to prioritise renewables across Scotland, and this was an opportunity which would have helped our area to thrive and prosper for years to come. Yet again the opportunity to invest in renewable energies was stifled by a UK Government consistently making the wrong decisions for our energy security.”

Callum McCaig MP and SNP Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: “The actions of the UK Government are beyond parody. Scrapping job opportunities; innovative technologies; strong relationships, but saving nothing.

“We now expect investments in renewables to drop by 95% by 2020. The prospect of a transition to a low carbon economy under the Tories looks bleak - at best. Meanwhile the SNP Scottish Government have launched a climate change action plan with ambitious targets to reduce emissions.

“The UK Government needs to wake up and realise their approach to the future of energy is toxic and they must prioritise decarbonisation.”