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OGUK pays tribute to outgoing Scottish energy minister

Paul Wheelhouse OGUK
Scotland's former Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse.

Trade body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) has paid tribute to outgoing Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse.

Mr Wheelhouse will leave tHolyrood after failing in his bid to seize Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire from Conservative incumbent Rachael Hamilton in the Scottish Election.

A strong showing by the SNP in South Scotland meant that he didn’t receive a seat on the regional list.

Deirdre Michie, OGUK chief executive, described Mr Wheelhouse as a “champion” of the oil and gas industry who understood its importance to both the economy and energy transition.

oguk brexit
Oil and Gas UK chief executive Deirdre Michie

She said: “I’d like to thank him for the support and challenge he provided to us throughout his tenure as Energy Minister. We look forward to meeting our new minister in the coming days and weeks, particularly as we continue to navigate the operational challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, while working to secure a fair transition for Scotland’s changing oil and gas industry.

“All parties recognise this industry has the essential expertise to urgently help meet the Scottish government climate targets of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2045 or sooner. This industry is already in action and there are many companies who already produce energy from renewable sources. As a sector we are on track to reduce our own emissions by 50% in 2030, and 90% by 2040.

“As we welcome returning and new MSPs, I hope Scotland can deepen its conversation about the energy transition in a way which engages with the people and companies already driving real change in energy communities in the North East and across Scotland.

“Our supply chain companies who are already well on the journey need the support of the Scottish Government to ensure we all deliver a turbo-charged transition. This will help move faster towards a low-carbon future, developing homegrown greener energy and reducing reliance on imported oil and gas. It will ensure our changing industry continues to make an important economic contribution, supporting jobs and developing new careers and opportunities.”

 

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