The Scottish political establishment has not been honest about the hard choices we face over our energy future and employment across the sector.
GMB Scotland has today (Wednesday 18 May) urged the new Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work , Keith Brown MSP, to undertake an urgent review of the Scottish Government’s energy policy and to bring forward an industrial strategy for job creation across the wider energy sector.
GMB Scotland has been frustrated by the previous Scottish Government’s reluctance to re-evaluate its energy policies, including the future role of fracking and nuclear power, while thousands of oil, gas and coal jobs were lost across the Scottish economy in 2015-16.
The oil price crisis has turned the debate over Scotland’s energy future and security of supply on its head, while contributing significantly to our sluggish economic growth and above average unemployment - which the ONS today confirmed has increased by 8,000 between January and March to 169,000.
GMB Scotland Secretary, Gary Smith, said: “The Scottish political establishment has not been honest about the hard choices we face over our energy future or with regards to employment in the sector more widely.
The North Sea is in rapid decline, coal fired power is over, we are stretching the lifespans of Hunterston and Torness and the Scottish government would rather the fracking debate goes away while we haemorrhage skilled jobs at an alarming rate.
Renewables alone cannot plug these gaps while Danish-built wind turbines, delivered by Dutch barges, connected by Chinese cables, with profits pocketed by private equity funds will do little to meaningfully boost jobs, skills, growth or the redistribution of wealth.
It is also an inconvenient truth that our homes and manufacturing base are increasingly reliant on cheap imported gas from the likes of Russia and Qatar - we are not the self-sustaining energy nation the Scottish government would have us to believe.
We will be writing to the new Cabinet Secretary urging him to recognise these realities and to bring forward a fresh energy policy that delivers affordability, balance and security, while ensuring people here in Scotland benefit from the economic and employment dividends.”
Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447 077.