Gail Wilson Campaigns Manager at Stop Climate Chaos Scotland: I read with interest the Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee report published last week on the proposed new climate change law, which delivered a definitive “must try harder” verdict on the Scottish Government’s plans. The committee, which took evidence from a range of experts, have called for “greater urgency and action across all parts of government, across the wider public and private sectors and by individuals, to deliver the transformational change needed”. As it stands, the Scottish Government plans almost no increase to Scotland’s existing climate action between now and 2030. This is despite the stark warning from the UN’s climate panel in October last year that we must rapidly drive wholesale changes to our energy, transport and food systems if we are to limit dangerous global temperature rises. The parliamentary report last week recognised that “the cost of inaction and delayed action will be far greater” than the cost of cutting our emissions now. MSPs from all parties must listen to growing public pressure and commit to reducing Scotland’s emissions more rapidly between now and 2030. Those giving evidence to the committee identified the positive climate policies that will also mean warmer homes, freedom to choose to cycle to work and support for our climate-friendly farming.
Scotsman 9th March 2019 read more »
LABOUR shadow chancellor John McDonnell will today launch an attack on the “rip off” privatised energy market in Scotland. McDonnell will say that shareholders of Scottish electricity and gas network companies received dividends worth £1,700 per household over a decade. He will argue the sums justify his party’s plan for a publicly-owned energy network, in a bid to cut bills. Dozens of companies compete to supply households and businesses with gas and electricity, but the physical infrastructure of the energy network is also in private hands. Research published today by Labour has focused on the dividends paid by the distribution and transmission firms owned by two energy giants. SSE, headquartered in Perth and which employs over 20,000, is one of the “Big six” suppliers and also owns chunks of the networks. According to the Labour figures, distribution and transmission firms owned by SSE paid out millions of pounds to shareholders between 2009 and 2018. The same was true of the networks owned by Scottish Power/Iberdrola, another energy giant based in Scotland but ultimately owned by a Spanish multi-national. In a speech to the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee, the shadow chancellor will estimate that the dividends paid out during this period by gas and electricity networks firms amounted to £1714 for every Scottish household. “Labour’s plans for a publicly owned energy network will reduce bills and deliver a Green Industrial Revolution to create jobs and deliver a sustainable energy network.”
Herald 10th March 2019 read more »