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Scotland’s Onshore Unconventional Oil and Gas Policy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

Absolutely. I recognise the points made by Gillian Martin. She is right to identify the need that we all now have, given the evident climate emergency, to reflect on our actions. That is what the Scottish Government will do in developing the climate change plan: we will look at all the policies that are in place across the Scottish Government. Equally, the UK Government has a responsibility under its powers to look at what it is doing.

Gillian Martin is also right that UK Government ministers—colleagues of our Conservative colleagues in this chamber—have previously criticised our cautious and evidence-led approach and our finalised policy position on fracking. I hope that we have demonstrated that we reached our decision in a proper and considered way, using evidence, and that we have arrived at a robust policy position. We did not push forward with unconventional oil and gas extraction without checking with communities and science, despite the pressure from outside, and I recommend to the UK Government as essential reading the extensive evidence-base that we have gathered on unconventional oil and gas, on which our decision not to support fracking is based.

All that evidence will be published on the Scottish Government website and will be available to anyone who wishes to use it. I may be tempted to send a web link to my colleague Kwasi Kwarteng in the UK Government, to make the process easier for him.