Scotland’s Fossil Fuel Sector Hangs in the Balance as Ministers Consider Calls to Intervene. A year on from the Scottish Government’s declaration of a climate emergency, the country’s fossil fuel industry is about to enter a critical period as ministers weigh up key decisions on how to achieve ambitious climate targets in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The vast industrial complex around the port and town of Grangemouth – once the cradle of Scotland’s industrial revolution – remains the beating heart of Scotland’s fossil fuel industry. The sprawling petrochemical production facility is thought to generate between 3 – 4% of Scotland’s GDP and four of its plants are amongst Scotland’s top ten polluters. Its refinery is the only site north of the border where crude oil from the North Sea can be converted into petrol and plastics, before being sent to market. These factors will surely be at the forefront of the minds of Scottish Government ministers, as they consider a request by the site’s operators, Petroineos, for loans worth up to £500m to plug the gap created by the collapse in fuel demand caused by government lockdowns. Petroineos is a joint venture between chemicals giant INEOS and the Chinese state-backed oil and gas company PetroChina. INEOS owner Jim Ratcliffe, whose £18bn personal fortune ranks him third wealthiest individual in the UK according to the Sunday Times Rich List, drew criticism from MPs last year for his move to Monaco, known for its low taxes.
DeSmog 15th May 2020 read more »