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SCOTTISH Labour urged ministers to make full use of Scotland’s devolved powers to create well-paying jobs in the renewable energy sector in a debate at Holyrood, today.
Speaking during a debate on the future of oil and gas, Labour MSPs called again on the government to oppose the development of the Cambo oil field.
Central Scotalnd Labour MSP Monica Lennon called for the government and MSPs to back the use of procurement powers, offshore wind farm licence approval and the Scottish National Investment Bank to secure and grow domestic supply chains.
Ms Lennon referred to a recent UN report which warned of a “code red” for the planet, underlining that this made clear that no fossil fuel development should take place.
She said: “Industrial and economic change is inevitable. It is our duty as parliamentarians to guarantee that change and decarbonisation delivers justice for workers.
“We need a managed and worker-led Just Transition because we cannot allow a climate crisis to become a jobs crisis – in the north-east or anywhere in Scotland.”
Just Transition is a framework developed by the trade union movement to encompass a range of social interventions needed to secure workers’ rights when economies are shifting to sustainable production.
The calls were backed by North East Scotland Labour MSP Mercedes Villalba, who has proposed offshore training passports for energy sector workers.
Ms Villalba said that inaction from the Scottish government cannot be accepted and that she is sick of the “empty rhetoric” which “does not match reality.”
A vote on the debate took place after the Star went to press.
A new report by Friends of the Earth Scotland revealed that Britain has increased its oil and gas production since declaring a climate emergency, with new reserves totalling 800 million extra barrels of oil and gas since 2019.
The paper calls on governments to cease all new oil and gas developments, end financial support for fossil fuels and redirect investment and policy support to the just transition and renewables.
Current British and Scottish government policy legislates that every last drop of this oil should be extracted, regardless of its devastating climate impact.
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