We are at the threshold of a new era for power generation, which will provide green power while boosting the UK economy.
I’m glad that climate change is firmly back on the political agenda, most notably the Committee on Climate Change’s report, which was published on Thursday.
It recommends the rapid deployment of technologies to reach “net zero” emissions across the UK by 2050, including carbon capture and storage.
The task of decarbonising our economy is one that is necessary, and one that, if we go about it right, will build a better, more secure future for generations to come.
To that end, I will continue to champion the Scottish cluster connecting the St Fergus terminal to Grangemouth as an ideal location for Carbon Capture and storage technology.
This cluster approach is a more effective, cheaper alternative to the previous project at Peterhead power station, before that competition was ended for a range of technical and cost reasons.
The future of our environment is far too important for party political showmanship.
It’s time for deeds, not words; and it’s deeds that this UK Government is delivering. Those saying that this government is ‘doing nothing’ could not be more wrong, because in fact we are leading the world in decarbonisation.
Between 2010 and 2018, greenhouse gas emissions fell by 25%. CO2 emissions have fallen six years in a row, the longest run of reductions on record. And last year, our CO2 emissions fell to the level they were at 130 years ago.
And we are achieving this without compromising on economic growth, defying the naysayers who argue that we have to choose between prosperity and the planet.
CCUS technology is going to be a necessary part of any serious plan to decarbonise our economy, and Banff and Buchan has great promise as a potential cluster of CCUS activity. We have the expertise, and we have the infrastructure in old North Sea oil and gas wells and pipelines.
I know the UK Government is committed to CCUS and the development of at least two cluster sites.
But there is space for more ambition, and today I am calling on the UK Government to consider developing at least three CCUS clusters, to be operational by the mid-2020s, including one in north-east Scotland.