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Scottish politicians criticise CCS funding decision

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World Coal,

Politicians from across the political spectrum have signed a motion lodged by Scottish Nationalist Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Stewart Stevenson criticising the UK government’s decision withdraw funding from the UK CCS Commercialisation Competition.

The Scottish Nationalist MSP represents the Banffshire and Buchan Coast Constituency in which the Peterhead CCS project is located. Peterhead was one of two projects in the running to receive funding from the CCS Commercialisation Competition.

Stevenson’s motion has been signed by fellow Scottish Nationalist MSPs, as well as MSPs from the Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties. The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) has held power at the Scottish Parliament since 2007 and sits in opposition to the ruling Conservative government at the UK Parliament in Westminster, holding all but three of the Scottish seats in the House of Commons.

“The carbon capture and storage project would have been a major boost for the northeast [of Scotland], creating 600 jobs and helping Scotland become a world leader in clean energy” said Stevenson. “I am delighted to see cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament on this important issue.

Stevenson also criticised Conservative MSPs for not signing the motion, accusing them of being “more interested in standing up for the UK Government that in standing up for their constituents.”

“The UK Government has swindled Scotland out of £1 billion, while posturing as environmentally friendly on the world stage,” concluded Stevenson. “People in Scotland won’t be quick to forgive or forget this betrayal.”

The UK Government quietly withdrew funding for the CCS Competition in an announcement to the London Stock Exchange last month, despite pledging to maintain its investment in the technology before the General Election in May that saw the Conservative’s take power following five years of coalition government with the Liberal Democrats.

The move has been widely criticised by industry groups with the Dr Luke Warren, CEO of the UK CCS Association, called the decision “devastating” and an “appalling way to do business.”

Meanwhile, the World Coal Association has highlighted the importance of supporting CCS development as part of any global climate change agreement.

“In building a low-emission energy future, policymakers do not have the luxury of picking and choosing technology ‘winners’,” said Benjamin Sporton, CEO of the WCA. “All technologies, including CCS, are required to build a resilient energy system and to meet climate objectives.”

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