Carbon Capture and Storage

Scotland – in the House of Commons on 29th June 2022.

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Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

What recent steps he has taken with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to support carbon capture and storage in Scotland.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Government recognise the importance of Scotland in achieving our goals on carbon capture utlilisation and storage. We have supported Scottish CCUS projects through the industrial decarbon-isation challenge fund, and regularly meet project developers and stakeholders.

Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

I am glad to hear about those regular meetings. During COP26 in Glasgow, both the UK and the Scottish Governments rightly spoke of the importance of doing everything we can at home to reduce our emissions. Yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon re-announced her plans for an independence referendum, so action on the environment, the cost of living crisis, kickstarting the economy and upgrading the health service have taken a back seat to greater constitutional division. Has the Department estimated what impact a divisive referendum would have on investment in carbon capture and storage in Scotland?

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

I thank the hon. Member for her question and I agree with her sentiments. We are engaging continuously on CCUS with the Acorn cluster and other possibilities. I agree with her on the impact that the SNP would have on energy policy. The SNP is anti-nuclear and anti-oil and gas. It is hard to see where it thinks it is going to get its energy from in the event of independence; perhaps it has some idea of a future deal with Vladimir Putin.

Photo of Jacob Young Jacob Young Conservative, Redcar

Carbon capture and storage is critical for the production of blue hydrogen and, therefore, in helping us to reach the Government’s 2030 hydrogen target. What opportunities does the Minister see for the potential of the hydrogen economy in Scotland, Teesside and the rest of the UK?

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

I thank my hon. Friend, the chair of the all-party group on hydrogen, for his continuing support for hydrogen-related and CCUS-related projects. We see that as offering opportunities for the whole of the UK. Teesside will play a big part in it, as will Scotland and other parts of England and Wales. We see it as a big whole of the UK effort, crucial to levelling up and to the Union.