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4 November 2013

Scientific Warning on CCS Delays Shows Reality of Westminster's Research Obstruction

The No campaign faced embarrassment today as the launch of its ‘academics together’ group was overshadowed by warnings from scientists that Scotland’s progress towards Carbon Capture technology is being held back by the Westminster Government.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, leading expert in the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) field Professor Stuart Haszeldine warned that people in the field are ‘angry and depressed’ by the lack of progress being made.

The Professor who chairs the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage group hit out at the delays, stating “what we’re asking is we get on and do something about it – we stop talking, we start doing. People who’re working on the pure science are depressed that the message is not being heard adequately and the people who’re trying to do something practical working with industry are getting quite angry that they’re being ignored as well and just parked as continually Governments kick the can down the road in the UK and in Europe.

Progress towards CCS technology in Scotland has repeatedly hit roadblocks put up by the Westminster Government. In 2007, BP was forced to withdraw from previous plans to develop the technology in Peterhead, citing Westminster dithering and delay while in 2011 plans to install CCS at Longannet collapsed after Westminster failed to reach an agreement on funding.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“These warnings that scientists in Scotland are ‘angry and depressed’ by the lack of progress emanating from Westminster are deeply concerning, and ones that everyone in Scotland would do well to heed.

“On the very day that the No campaign has launched its academics group, the roadblocks to scientific progress in Scotland that Westminster all too often puts up have been made abundantly clear.

“Why does the No campaign think it is better for Westminster to make decisions for Scotland, when time and time again they have dithered and delayed when it comes to backing carbon capture and storage?

“Scotland can and should be playing a leading role in the development of this vital technology, and the fact that Westminster has hindered progress in this area - under both Labour and Tory-led UK governments - shows why Scotland can achieve more with the powers of independence.

“The fact is that with five universities in the world top 200 – more by head of population than anywhere else in the world – Scotland is in a fantastic position internationally, and that is something we can build on in an independent Scotland.

“A Yes vote next year will allow people in Scotland to elect a Government that always supports and prioritises Scottish research, and the development of new technology in Scotland."

Professor Stuart Haszeldine’s remarks can be heard at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03flxnf
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