30 November 2015

Tory Posturing on Clean Energy Contrasts with CCS 'Betrayal'


The UK Government has been accused of rank hypocrisy on green energy, after signing up to a $20 billion fund for clean energy research at the Paris climate talks – just days after cutting a vital £1 billion carbon capture and storage scheme in Scotland.

Just last week, George Osborne announced that he would cut the £1 billion grant which could have created 600 jobs in Peterhead while helping Scotland become a global leader in clean energy technology – despite the funding being promised in the 2015 Tory manifesto.

The Tory decision to pull the funding also stands as another broken promise to people in Scotland during the independence referendum – when Labour, Tory and Lib Dem politicians in the No campaign threatened that the only way to guarantee the funding for the Peterhead project was to vote No.

On February 24th 2014, David Cameron joined his then Energy Secretary Ed Davey, then Scotland Secretary Alistair Carmichael and then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in signing up to an agreement on carbon capture storage at Shell HQ in Aberdeen.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“While it is of course welcome to see the progress made on clean energy at the Paris climate talks – for the UK Government to posture on clean energy on the world stage just days after cutting a £1 billion project here at home is completely outrageous and hypocrisy of the lowest order.

“The decision to cut this vital project won’t just cost 600 jobs in the North East of Scotland – but is a huge missed opportunity to help Scotland become a global leader on green energy technology and is just the latest example of the failure of the UK Government to support Scotland’s energy industry.

“The Tory betrayal on this vital energy project is also deeply embarrassing for Labour – who sought to claim that the only way to protect the funding was for Scotland to vote No last year. Yet again, Labour and the Lib Dems are paying the price for lining up to do the Tories’ dirty work for them during the referendum.

“One after another, the promises made to Scotland by the Westminster parties during the referendum are falling apart – and it’s time for politicians from Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems to apologise for their bogus promise to people in Scotland.
“The Tory government has swindled Scotland out of £1 billion while posturing as environmentally friendly on the world stage – and people in Scotland won’t be quick to forgive or forget this latest betrayal.”

Stewart Stevenson
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