Nuclear Power and Fracking

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 8 September 2022.

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Photo of Bill Kidd Bill Kidd Scottish National Party

At Prime Minister’s question time yesterday, we heard Liz Truss advocating her belief that nuclear power and now fracking have a role in abating the energy crisis.

I know that the commitment of the Tories to the transformational changes needed to achieve net zero is wafer thin, just as I know that the Scottish Government’s position on those matters is clear. What is the First Minister’s response to the Prime Minister’s comments?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

First, let me take the opportunity to reaffirm the Scottish Government’s position on fracking. That is a devolved matter, and our position is unchanged. We do not intend to grant licences for fracking, and we do not think that it is the solution to the crisis that is currently faced. Let me quote someone else:

“No amount of shale gas ... would be enough to lower the European price”.

That was, of course, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer speaking earlier this year.

Similarly, our position on nuclear is unchanged: we do not support new nuclear, certainly not with existing technology. The reality is that Scotland has vast potential in renewables. Offshore and onshore wind power can already be generated more cheaply than gas-fired power or nuclear power—that is where we need to focus our efforts and that is exactly what the Scottish Government is going to do.