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'Open And Honest' Debate On Scottish Energy

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

GMB Scotland Calls For ‘Open And Honest’ Debate On Scotland’s Energy Future

Ahead of Holyrood climate change debate, MSPs should focus on how we can best meet our economic and energy challenges with all the options available to us.

Ahead of a Scottish Parliamentary debate on climate change this afternoon (Wednesday 1 June), GMB Scotland has called on MSPs to be open and honest about Scotland’s energy future and the sector’s prospects for job creation. (See notes to editors for a link to the most recent figures on Scotland’s electricity generation).

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, will lead the Scottish Government debate, ‘Taking Scotland Forward’, while opposition amendments on low carbon policy and a fracking ban have also been tabled.

GMB Scotland has been frustrated by the previous Scottish Government's reluctance to re-evaluate its energy policies, including the future role of nuclear and fracking, while thousands of oil, gas and coal jobs were lost across the Scottish economy in 2015-16.

According to the Scottish government’s own data, two-thirds of Scotland’s electricity is currently generated by nuclear, coal, gas and oil with hydro and renewable sources providing the remaining one-third.

GMB Scottish Secretary, Gary Smith, said “It is high time our political class had an open and honest debate about the hard choices we face over our energy future along with the prospects for employment across the sector.

Scotland’s transition to a low-carbon economy is important but it would be futile to pursue this at the expense of a balanced and secure indigenous supply that can boost job creation and the redistribution of wealth.

Renewables alone is not a panacea so we need to be more pragmatic about the opportunities, stability and prosperity we can generate from new nuclear and fracking sources.

I suspect we will hear much about what our MSPs are against today but they should also focus on what we are for and how we can best meet our economic and energy challenges with all the options available to us.”

End

Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077

Notes to Editors

1 ‘Energy in Scotland 2016’, (Figure 3.3, P.48).

http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0049/00494812.pdf

 

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