UK Government urged to fund carbon capture

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has urged the UK Government to fund carbon capture and storage facilities as she called for a “shared national endeavour” to tackle climate change.

Addressing Holyrood, Ms Cunningham said reacting to the “global climate emergency” must be “hardwired into our national psyche” as she called on everyone to help save the planet.

She urged UK ministers to take “urgent and decisive action” to develop green technologies such as carbon capture, use and storage and said the North Sea’s oil expertise makes Scotland the “logical location” for the development of such technology.

“The UK Government must identify funding to deliver its commitment to build the first CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage) facility by 2025 and must commit to more than one cluster across the UK,” Ms Cunningham told MSPs.

“With our North Sea assets and infrastructure, Scotland is the logical location for such clusters.”

But Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell warned his party would not enter budget negotiations unless climate change and a Green New Deal – ending over- reliance on oil and gas – were at its heart.

“The Greens will not support any future Scottish Government budget unless it puts a Green New Deal to tackle the climate crisis at its heart,” Mr Ruskell said.

Ms Cunningham said she had yet to receive an answer from the UK Government to her request for a meeting to discuss climate change targets.

At the SNP conference last month, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declared a climate emergency and said Scotland would continue to “lead by example”.

The Scottish Government has set a target of net-zero emissions by 2045.

Ms Cunningham said the Scottish Government would host a summit to identify ways which businesses can become more environmentally friendly.