MSP says Grangemouth industry has part to play in battle against climate change
Grangemouth’s massive industrial complex will have to play its part if the fight against climate change is to succeed.
That’s the belief and hope of Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald, who is a member of two Scottish parliamentary committees calling for urgent action now so Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets can be met in the future.
Mr MacDonald said: “Regarding Grangemouth, it is vital the Scottish Government and Falkirk Council work to ensure the town is recognised as a decarbonised industrial cluster.
"However, if Grangemouth is to benefit from UK Government funding and investment then it needs to ‘lean in’ to capture the ‘lion’s share of support’ to ensure it beats off a very real challenge from Teeside in England, which is the main internal UK competition.
“My committee considers Scotland has significant advantage in terms of engineering expertise and geological storage. The committee explored how Scotland can capture the economic and just transition benefits with the cabinet secretary and asked how important is it that Grangemouth sits at the heart of a low carbon industrial transformation for Scotland and what is being done to support this.
“The cabinet secretary confirmed the Acorn carbon capture project should be seen as an anchor to enable the early establishment of carbon capture and storage in Scotland. She considered Grangemouth to be a strategic industrial site that must be harnessed in the energy transition and act as a critical catalyst hub.
"She stressed commitment would be required beyond the next parliamentary session and private sector investment is necessary alongside Scottish and UK Government intervention.”
Following extensive work, four Holyrood committees have now published their reports on the Scottish Government’s updated Climate Change Plan.
Two of the committees – the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee and the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee – which Mr MacDonald serves on have called for urgent action across all sectors.
Mr MacDonald said: “The committees have delivered key recommendations on the Scottish Government’s updated draft Climate Change Plan. The Plan outlines proposals to meet Scotland’s climate change targets – 75 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero by 2045.
“This comes ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year – the most important gathering on climate change since the Paris Agreement in 2015. One of the concerns raised by my Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee is that, while the level of ambition in the plan is welcomed, major action and transformational change across all sectors is now urgently required to reflect the nature of the climate emergency and the immediate opportunities to progress a green recovery.
“The committee notes, for example, that although Scotland has halved greenhouse gas emissions in the last 30 years, emissions will need to more than halve again
over the much shorter period to 2032.
“Scotland has committed to ambitious climate change targets and it is critical, if this ambition to be realised, the Scottish Government acts with the utmost urgency
upon the recommendations we have made.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown we can act boldly and at pace in the face of a crisis. Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity today and our response to it must reflect that.”