Energy Minister calls for scheme to remain to help tackle climate change.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has called on the UK Government not to undermine progress on tackling climate change by cutting support for onshore wind.
It comes as UN climate negotiations get underway in Bonn this week, in advance of the global UN climate talks being held in Paris later in the year.
Mr Ewing has sought clarity from the UK Government on their plans for support for onshore wind in light of reports they may be about to announce an end to the scheme.
The talks in Bonn are underway to prepare a draft global treaty on greenhouse gas emissions. The deal – which is aimed at limiting global temperature increase to less than 2 degrees Celsius – will be finalised in Paris in December.
This week Mr Ewing will speak to Energy and Climate Change Secretary of State Amber Rudd and will make the case on the importance of continued support for onshore wind in the UK and the contribution it makes as the most cost effective route to reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs and keeping the lights on across these islands.
Scotland’s Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Dr Aileen McLeod has also written to Amber Rudd to urge her to make increasing the UK’s climate change ambition a top priority.
Mr Ewing said:
“As well as being UK Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd is also UK Climate Change Secretary. It would be very regrettable if her first action in her new role was to slash support for clean green energy from onshore wind. As well as being entirely the wrong decision from an energy security point of view, it would also undermine the UK’s credibility in these vital UN Climate Talks – where Ms Rudd and her colleagues will be representing the UK.
“The Scottish Government remains ambitious for the renewable energy industry and the vital contribution it makes towards tackling climate change. Onshore wind is the cheapest way of producing renewable electricity in the UK and it is important we continue to support this vital industry.
“I believe that there should not be a headlong rush into making important decisions and we should sit round the table with Amber Rudd and the industry to decide between us the best way to proceed, bearing in mind that onshore wind is clearly still the most cost-effective large scale way of deploying renewable technology in the UK.
“We need to listen to the concerns of businesses and organisations who are integral to the future energy security of both the Scotland and the UK, as well as to environmental organisations who recognise the importance of renewable energy in helping reduce emissions.
“With officials from the UK Government attending the climate change talks this week in Bonn it would set a terrible example and a lack of ambition to the rest of the world if they decided to end onshore subsidies at the same time.”