A north-east politician is demanding that the chancellor stops “starving” the region and unlocks a potential £1 billion investment in Peterhead.
The town’s power station was previously earmarked for a transformation into a world-leading green energy scheme, with Shell and SSE eying a massive pot of public money to do so.
But in 2015 the UK government announced it was axing the £1bn grant it was offering to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
The Peterhead project was one of two bidding for the cash but was eventually the only one left as a rival plan in Yorkshire was abandoned.
And following a UN warning that there are just 12 years to limit global warning, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson says the UK Government must reconsider its position.
He said: “Peterhead lost out when the Tories axed £1bn for carbon capture and storage at the eleventh hour in 2015 – a betrayal of the north-east of Scotland and of the fight against climate change.
“The Tory government cannot continue to ignore the facts that without a CCS strategy, the UK will be much less likely to meet its climate change targets and it will be twice as expensive to do so.
“The Tories need to take action now and stop starving the north-east of vital investment in carbon capture technologies before it’s too late.”
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It was projected that the CCS project at Peterhead would generate 44,000 jobs and £7bn for the country’s economy.
At the same time it would have captured around one million tonnes of harmful CO2 every year and transported it for storage in a depleted North Sea gas field 62 miles away.
Mr Stevenson has called for Chancellor Philip Hammond to unveil a new fund for the project in his autumn budget later this month.
He added: “This is an economic opportunity to create hundreds of jobs and build knowledge for the future in a cutting edge field, but it is also a moral imperative.”
“We’ve had enough stalling – the UK government must now get on with delivering clean industries for the future, starting by reinstating investment in carbon capture and storage in Peterhead.”
However David Duguid, Scottish Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan, said Mr Stevenson “appears to be behind the curve” with the policy.
He said: “As announced in May, £21.5m is being invested to help reduce the cost of this technology so that it can become commercially viable.
“One of the sticking points with the previous competition for which Peterhead was short-listed was the high costs for consumers.
“Households across the country would have subsidised this through higher energy bills. That still needs to be addressed.
“I am in regular contact with the energy minister on this and many other issues affecting the north-east.
“That is the difference between the Scottish Conservatives and the SNP – we work constructively within government to get things done while the SNP simply shout from the sidelines.”