The Labour party in Scotland has vowed to create 100,000 new jobs in renewable energy in Scotland in its manifesto for next week’s Holyrood general election.
**This is at least five times the number of people presently employed in Scottish renewables – and barely half the number who currently work in oil and gas.
As well as confirming its vow to entirely proscribe all fracking for shale gas, Labour pledges to support a balanced energy mix. In her party’s manifesto, Kezia Dugdale, the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, states:
“We believe in a ‘civic energy’ future — a future that grows local schemes to produce green energy, and heat for local use.
“A Scottish Labour Government will pursue new ownership models – community, co-operative, and public – to both generate and supply our energy.
“We will support businesses and communities, in islands and rural areas, in towns and cities, including those people currently off-grid, to reduce their energy demand, stimulating the development of commercially viable energy production.
“We will pursue a major drive for energy efficiency and remove the carbon from Scotland’s electricity needs.
“To underline our ambition to green our energy use, a Scottish Labour Government will aspire to generate 50% of our electricity, heat and transport demand from renewables by 2030.
“By doing that we will be on target to deliver 100,000 jobs working in Scotland’s green sector.
“It is because of the need to tackle climate change that we will ban fracking in Scotland.
“The science is very clear that the last thing we need is to burn another fossil fuel. Rather than a temporary freeze, or studies which report a few years down the line. Our position is very clear – no ifs, no buts, no fracking under Labour.
“We can’t meet our climate change targets and dig yet another fossil fuel from the ground at the same time.
“We will develop and boost the role of the Scottish Investment Bank, strengthening its capital to support new thinking and invest in Scottish industry, business, and the green and high-tech industries of the future. <The document makes no mention of the looming threat of the UK Green Investment Bank re-locating from Edinburgh to London on its imminent privatisation>
“We will continue to support the North Sea oil and gas industry as it reacts to the challenges of low oil prices. We will continue to argue for a fiscal environment that encourages investment and protects jobs. We also continue to support temporary public investment in assets that otherwise might be prematurely decommissioned.
“However, even in normal market conditions, decommissioning is an area of huge economic potential for Scotland. There has been little effort by government to ensure the jobs that will be created through huge decommissioning projects come to ports on the east coast of Scotland. We will make that effort.
“We need to use our powers to ensure future generations will be able to produce the energy that creates jobs, renews communities and protects Scotland’s rich environment. We are fortunate because Scotland is well placed to generate electricity from clean sources.
A number of newly-elected Holyrood MPs will be invited to speak at SCOTLAND’S RENEWABLE FUTURE conference, being held in Edinburgh on 26 May 2016.
For more information: http://www.scotlandsrenewablefuture.co.uk/
“Within a generation we will find the ways to ‘green’ the heating of homes and offices, to ‘green’ our transport systems, both private and public, and support manufacturing to a ‘green’ transition.
“We will move ahead with the low-carbon investment and support needed to develop new skills, new jobs and green workplaces, with the public sector taking the lead.
“As well as contributing to a balanced energy mix, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) represents a viable way to de-carbonise essential industrial processes. Investment in CCS should be a priority.
“We will continue to oppose the decision by the UK Government to end investment in the Peterhead CCS project and will work with stakeholders to secure the project’s future.
“We will ensure that the Scottish Government’s budgets, regulations and legislative programme are compatible with Scotland’s Climate Change Act.
“Half of pensioners live in fuel poverty. No one should have to live in a hard-to-heat,draughty and damp home.
“So we’ll introduce a Warm Homes Act to bring clean and affordable warmth to thousands of households and businesses in Scotland.