The Scottish Parliament has voted in favour of a permanent ban on shale gas exploration in Scotland, led by victorious Labour MSPs chanting; “No ifs, no buts, no fracking”. A motion posed by the Labour Party in Scotland – which is now the third-biggest party after gaining just 24 Holyrood MPs in last months’ Scottish parliament elections – was passed by 32 votes to 29 (comprising pro-fracking Tory MSPs) The minority-led SNP government ordered its 62 MSPs to abstain, while the Greens and Lib Dems also supported Labour. Although not binding on the Scottish Government, both the vote – and her party’s abstention – is deeply humiliating for Nicola Sturgeon, SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, because she herself is ‘deeply sceptical’ about fracking for shale gas.
Scottish Energy News 2nd June 2016 read more »
The Scottish parliament has voted narrowly in favour of a ban on fracking, after Scottish National party MSPs abstained following a debate that gave a strong indication of the changed nature of the new Holyrood chamber. Scottish Labour had tabled an amendment in support of a full ban as part of an environment debate headed by the new cabinet secretary, Roseanna Cunningham. The SNP announced a moratorium on fracking in Scotland last January, but has stopped short of an outright ban to allow for further consultation and a public health impact assessment. After SNP members abstained, the motion was passed on Wednesday by 32 votes to 29, with Sc ottish Greens and Liberal Democrats joining Labour to defeat the Conservatives. Scottish Labour’s environment spokesperson, Claudia Beamish, who tabled the amendment, immediately called on the SNP government to clarify its position after the vote, which does not create binding policy, but represents a significant defeat for the SNP so soon into this new parliamentary term.
Guardian 1st June 2016 read more »
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Scotsman 2nd June 2016 read more »
The government-owned energy company, Vattenfall, is demanding the sale of its coal mines and power plants based in Germany to a Czech company, EPH. The deal includes some of Germany’s largest coal mines – and three of the top 10 most polluting coal plants in Europe. They are going to a deeply unattractive buyer – EPH, a company hell-bent on burning as much coal as possible. In the next couple of weeks, Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, is facing a stark choice. On one hand, he could approve the sale of the most climate-destroying assets in Europe, breaking his own election promises in the process. Or, he could promote a transition to keep coal in the ground – and support a liveable climate – in an unprecedented decision by a government to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Guardian 2nd June 2016 read more »