Responding to news of analysis which suggests that Scotland is in line for a renewed oil boom, the Scottish Greens have urged caution over deciding how the remaining oil reserves should be used.

The party reminded the Scottish government of the ambitious climate change targets which it set in 2009 in recognition of the need to keep average global temperature rises to 2º C or less.

In the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, the Scottish government set targets to reduce Scotland's emissions of the basket of six Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gasses by at least 42% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050, compared to the 1990/1995 baseline.

Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Green Party, Patrick Harvie, said:

“Taking control of remaining oil revenues is one thing – what we use that control for is quite another. It is shameless hypocrisy to set climate change targets but then to extract and burn every last drop of oil from the North Sea.

“If we are at all serious about setting a sustainable course for Scotland we must set about a more rapid transition away from fossil fuels, and use the remaining revenue to fund the creation of a publicly-owned renewable energy company, as other European countries have.

“By securing a clean source of income for future generations we could wean ourselves off environmentally-damaging fossil fuels while ensuring we protect the public services our society values. The International Energy Agency has clearly stated that no more than one third of proven fossil fuel reserves can be consumed if we are serious about limiting climate change.”

Scotland is home to the biggest renewable energy resource in Europe.  The Scottish Greens believe that more needs to be done to support major new renewables projects, grid upgrades, and local renewables at community level.  They would also like to see more support for developing marine energy.

Meanwhile, Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, in a tweet to Newsnet Scotland warned against a boom in carbon emissions which could accompany a boom in oil, saying that:

"We need some joined up thinking on energy conservation and emissions reduction."


# bringiton 2013-03-11 22:55
Without independence, we won't even be allowed hypocrisy.
# thomsor 2013-03-12 08:37
The Greens and RSPB issue warnings to Scottish Government over possible oil boom further down the line. Why are they not taking Westminster to task with their concerns NOW?
# pamspets 2013-03-12 08:44

why are the Greens trying to score points?
I urge each of them to fight for Independence in Scotland THEN green energy will be openly discussed within a true democratic society. I urge them again to stop point scoring and think seriously about the alternatives should a NO vote follow our referendum!!
# snowthistle 2013-03-12 11:19
I don't believe they are scoring points, they are attempting to have a serious discussion about the type of independent Scotland we want to live in.
Just getting people who are undecided to think about the possibilities of an independent Scotland is a good thing. If you start to get people to imagine what it could be like they are more likely to believe we can do it.
# tartanfever 2013-03-12 11:45
Yep, I agree. And I think the Greens are absolutely right. 'Use the remaining revenue to set up a state owned renewable energy company' -in the long run, isn't this exactly what we all want ?

It's a completely sensible thing to say, and I welcome the green argument into the debate. Let's not just immediately jump on the defensive when something like this comes up - thats exactly where the unionists get their 'wide-eyed nat bampot' stereotype from which the press happily print for them.

The greens realise the importance of a state owned energy company, and as it's unlikely to happen at present in the oil sector, why not have it in the renewable sector as that will be the long term future.
# Jake62 2013-03-12 16:39
"It is shameless hypocrisy to set climate change targets but then to extract and burn every last drop of oil from the North Sea."

There are other uses for oil than just burning it. Plastics, manufacturing, fertiliser, etc. Extracting it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be burnt, and the Greens should know that. Harvie certainly does, as he acknowledged this in a tweet response to me, so to flag this issue up in such provocative language does smack of point-scoring. Which is a shame. As a Green voter I thought they were above such childishness.
# Angry_Weegie 2013-03-12 21:04
Quoting Jake62:
to flag this issue up in such provocative language does smack of point-scoring. Which is a shame. As a Green voter I thought they were above such childishness.

Wholeheartedly agree. Not sure if the Greens are really interested in pushing for a YES, or if they see YES as just another platform to push their own agenda no matter the impact on the yes campaign.
# xyz 2013-03-12 19:25
I vote we do not leave it in the ground.

That would be daft.

We will be better off in so many ways by using some of our oil revenues to invest in renewables technologies and infrastructures . In that way we can reduce the need to burn oil here and all over the world.

Come back in 30 year and we will consider your crazy scheme.
# snowthistle 2013-03-12 23:32
I don't believe that climate change and the need to tackle it can be described as 'point scoring' or a 'crazy scheme'.

The impact of climate change can be seen right now in the extremes of weather that are becoming more and more common.

It's no longer some crazy, tree hugging,hippy, fringe issue, the consequences of the climate changes we experience now, can be felt in our pockets. It has become an economic issue, floods and droughts aren't cheap.

No-one is suggesting that we stop extracting oil immediately but we do need a plan for transition to cleaner energy.
# Breeks 2013-03-14 08:44
One thing Scotland might consider to offset the Carbon released from our oil is to consider replanting vast areas of our indigenous Great Caledonian Pine Forest. Fast growing pines lock up tons of Carbon as they turn it into wood, and actually do so at a faster rate than mature rainforest.

I'd like to see Scotland with our native ecosystem vastly restored, and thereafter treated with a similar respect as the Kiwis look after their virgin wilderness.

Reintroduction of apex predators is more contoversial perhaps, but a balanced self regulating ecosystem is a more stable and durable commodity.

Dare I say it, and it's not my 'thing', but there might even be opportunities to keep human predators happy too, if the price is high enough, & the cull well managed to control old and sick animals, and money used to finance support for conserving species.

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