North Sea Oil and Gas (Energy Security)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 8th March 2022.

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Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

The member fundamentally misses the point, which is that the climate crisis that we face has not gone away. We need only look at the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the other week, which set out clearly the scale and nature of the climate challenge that we face and the need to make sure that we take appropriate action to deal with it.

The answer is to step up the decarbonisation of our energy systems, just as Germany proposes to do, by bringing forward its target by some 15 years, or as the Dutch Prime Minister set out yesterday, when he was in London, sharing a platform with Boris Johnson. The answer is to decarbonise at a faster rate so that we are not dependent on oil and gas.

The failure of the UK Government to recognise that is demonstrated by the way in which it continues to have transmission charges that penalise Scottish projects, making them the most expensive in the UK to take forward and causing businesses to choose to put their investments elsewhere. It is also failing to take forward projects such as the Scottish cluster and carbon capture and utilisation—the best-placed project in the whole of the UK to demonstrate a key technology that can help us not only to deal with the energy transition but to meet our climate change targets. What we need from the UK Government is a level of ambition that matches ours in decarbonising our energy system and meeting our climate change obligations.