Scottish Government ministers have been challenged to set out how they will spend a £500 million energy transition fund to help the north-east shift from fossil fuels.
The Just Transition Fund was announced in the SNP-Green coalition’s programme for government in September, with the first £20m committed in the budget for 2022-23.
But ministers have yet to outline the details behind the fund, prompting calls for “real answers” to be provided during a visit to the north-east this week.
Just Transition Minister Richard Lochhead and Trade Minister Ivan McKee are expected at the Subsea Expo at Aberdeen’s P&J Live, which begins today.
The visit will give industry figures the opportunity to tell ministers what they think the cash should be spent on to support the north-east and Moray in its transition.
The Tories have repeatedly called for the Scottish Government to confirm how the fund will be used to support tens of thousands of jobs in the region.
Liam Kerr, energy spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “A series of parliamentary questions to the government have yielded no concrete objectives or direction for the fund.
“I expect these ministers to turn up in Aberdeen and finally be in a position to give some real answers to stakeholders and the public, and show some direction.
“Because as it stands, there has been little engagement with the
very industry that is going to lead the way to carbon net-zero.
“Oil and gas supports tens of thousands of jobs in the north-east but employers and workers have seen nothing to reassure them that the SNP and Greens have considered their future.”
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Jenny Laing has also been critical of a “lack of detail” over the promised £20m.
The cash will be used to help identify “key projects” in the move away from reliance on fossil fuel jobs.
But there has been no clarity over what type of projects can benefit, with Ms Laing saying there is confusion about the money being only for new projects.
Around 3,000 attendees are expected to attend the Subsea Expo which runs from today until Thursday.
The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.