Climate Change and Sustainable Development (Support for Targets)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 13th September 2017.

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Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

2. To ask the Scottish Government how its targets on climate change and sustainable development are supported through renewable energy projects such as the turbines in the Pentland Firth. (S5O-01226)

Photo of Roseanna Cunningham Roseanna Cunningham Scottish National Party

Scotland is a world leader in tackling climate change. We have made sustained progress against ambitious statutory targets and we are introducing new legislation to ensure that we maintain that leading position.

We know that a variety of low-carbon generating capacity will be required by 2050 to achieve our binding climate change targets. Our support for innovative renewable energy projects such as the MeyGen tidal array in the Pentland Firth, which is the first large-scale array of its type in the world, is just one illustration of our commitment to building a modern, integrated low-carbon energy system.

Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

Will the cabinet secretary outline the support that the Scottish Government is giving to sustainable and renewable initiatives in my constituency, Midlothian North and Musselburgh?

Photo of Roseanna Cunningham Roseanna Cunningham Scottish National Party

Since 2008, 986 awards have been made in 622 communities around Scotland through the climate challenge fund. In Midlothian North and Musselburgh, the climate challenge fund has awarded a total of £176,000 to five different projects and, through our low-carbon infrastructure transition programme, we have provided early advice to a number of projects in the constituency. Commercial confidentiality prevents me from providing details now, but it is the programme’s aim to publish all information when it is available.

Photo of Donald Cameron Donald Cameron Conservative

I refer members to an interest in renewable energy in my entry in the register of members’ interests.

On the Scottish Government’s updated target to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032, will the cabinet secretary clarify whether the Scottish Government has made any initial assessment of the energy capacity that will be required to meet that target and of the proportion that will come from renewable energy sources?

Photo of Roseanna Cunningham Roseanna Cunningham Scottish National Party

That work is currently on-going and we hope to be in a position to give further advice on that in the—I want to say, “in the near future”, but I am looking at my colleague the Minister for Transport and the Islands to ascertain whether he wants me to say that. A number of people will want an answer to that question and we are doing a great deal of work on it.

Photo of Gail Ross Gail Ross Scottish National Party

What representations will the Scottish Government make to the United Kingdom Government over the failure to award a contract for difference to the MeyGen tidal development in the Pentland Firth?

Photo of Roseanna Cunningham Roseanna Cunningham Scottish National Party

Although the announcement of the result of the second allocation round was disappointing, I am not sure that it came as a surprise. The way in which the scheme is structured and designed means that innovative projects will always lose out in favour of bigger players and more mature technologies, which is why the Scottish Government continues to press the UK Government to commit to a fairer system that would offer early-stage technologies the chance to replicate the impressive cost reductions that we are currently seeing in offshore wind.