Mark Ruskell: I’VE met many people living with the climate emergency. Families on the brink of losing homes to rising storms on Vatersay, Malawian villagers desperate for rain so they can grow food and Saami women who have seen their Arctic forests burning for the first time. These voices and testimonies are growing. They are not voices from the future, they are from the present, in a world living already with one degree of global warming. It’s now a moral necessity that we heed their calls for Scotland to adopt a net zero emissions target and join a fleet of nations from Sweden to Iceland and New Zealand who have found the brake pedal. Iceland has set a net zero by 2040 target. Their Green prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, recently said: “We have 12 years to act, this is not being alarmist, this is looking an unpleasant truth in the eye.” This is what climate leadership looks like, but sadly it’s in contrast with the complacency we are seeing from the Scottish Government. Minister Roseanna Cunningham has defended the absence of a net zero target by arguing that she cannot see a feasible pathway to delivery. She likens it to having to make a choice between Betamax and VHS video technology in the 1980s. Yet that is exactly the point. No-one at that time could have anticipated that both technologies would be made redundant by Netflix. No-one needed to. The key thing was to both anticipate and encourage innovation rather than assume it won’t happen.
The National 7th Dec 2018 read more »
Rebecca Long Bailey: Scotland’s renewables bonanza is being squandered. This week, as the UK Government collapses in on itself and the timid and inadequate Scottish Climate Change Bill is developed in Holyrood, it’s clear that neither the Conservatives or the SNP are planning a greener, more prosperous future for Scotland. David Attenborough has joined climate negotiators in Poland to prepare for the future and warn of the consequences of inaction, but the authorities in both Edinburgh and London are failing to ensure Scotland gets the thousands of good climate jobs it deserves. With so much wind, so many waves and such impressive local skills, Scottish towns and ports from Fife to Inverclyde should be leading the way in the clean energy transition. The wind turbines dotting the hillsides and off the coast should be manufactured locally by well-paid, secure, highly-skilled and unionised jobs. But that isn’t the case. Industrial co mmunities have been hollowed out and manufacturing has moved overseas. They say you don’t carry coal to Newcastle. But although the UK has more offshore wind installed than any other country – 36% of the global total – it is heavily reliant on imports, running a trade deficit of hundreds of millions of pounds. Without clear government backing, and facing competition from publicly-owned or publicly-backed manufacturers in other countries, Scottish manufacturing has struggled to get a toehold. When Fife-based BiFab received contracts to produce foundations for the Beatrice wind farm but ran into a cash crisis, the SNP failed to save the workforce, with almost every last worker let go. The SNP was happy to be front and centre on for positive photo opportunities, but disappeared when the chips were down. New renewables industries like floating wind and tidal stream offer the chance to do things differently – and that’s Labour’s plan. The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult in Glasgow believes we could create 11,000 jobs in floating wind by 2031 and 22,600 jobs in tidal stream and wave by 2040.
Herald 8th Dec 2018 read more »
Chris Stark said the energy transition was not a “threat” to North Sea industry, but warned “some” oil reserves would have to be left “stranded” under the seabed. He was reflecting on the first 10 years of the CCC, which was established under the Climate Change Act 2008 to report on progress made by the government to reduce greenhouse gases. The act targeted a reduction in greenhouse gases by at least 80% by 2050, but the UK could be more ambitious and aim for “net zero” emissions, Mr Stark said. “The CCA has worked,” he said. “We have learned that we can reduce emissions without breaking the economy. “It’s not an economic drag. The economy has become greener and the UK can be a leader.” He said the potential of renewable energy was widely underestimated 10 years ago. Green technology has also become much cheaper than people expected. However, Mr Stark warned the “real and very dangerous” threat of climate change was understated 10 years ago and that the “cost of inaction” would be “enormous”.
Energy Voice 5th Dec 2018 read more »