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29 July 2019

Carbon Capture Progress Early Test for New PM

UK Government Must Move Forward with CCS "Without Delay"

The SNP has called on the UK government to move forward with the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology “without delay” following the appointment of a new Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Energy.

Alarm bells have been raised with the appointment of Andrew Leadsom to the top job at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Ms Leadsom previously said a national strategy for CCS was “unnecessary”.

Under Theresa May, the UK government finally accepted the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) which determined that CCS technology was “crucial to the delivery of zero GHG emissions and strategically important to the UK economy”.

Despite promising £1 billion investment in a shovel-ready CCS project for Peterhead ahead of the Scottish independence referendum, the Tories reneged on the commitment. CCS was then put back on the table by the government after a three-year delay.

Commenting, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“In the context of a climate emergency, there is simply no argument against it – carbon capture is crucial and must play a central part in tackling climate change.

“But actually getting on with the job has been one sorry saga for the UK government from start to finish.

“First they promised the earth in 2014, when they sought to buy the votes of people in the North East of Scotland.

“In 2015, the Tories broke their promise, scrapped £1 billion investment and cost my constituency 600 jobs.

“They then had a eureka moment that climate change might just be a real and present danger to humanity – and put CCS back on the table after dithering for three years.

“Now it’s all change once again round the Cabinet table, with Boris Johnson at the helm and Andrea Leadsom calling the shots on tackling climate change. We need assurances that CCS will proceed without delay.

“The Tories promised Scotland £1 billion for carbon capture – it’s high time they paid up."

Stewart Stevenson
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