Political parties in Scotland are being urged to support the oil and gas sector in order to harness green energy opportunities.
Oil & Gas UK (OGUK), the leading representative body for Scotland’s offshore oil and gas industry, say that huge changes have already been made within the sector to produce more energy from renewable sources.
Following the results of the Scottish Parliament election, OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE has called on new and returning MSPs to engage with the many oil and gas companies already producing energy from renewable sources and has pointed to the jobs they provide in communities across the length and breadth of Scotland.
Support needed to ‘move faster’ towards low-carbon future
“All parties recognise this industry has the essential expertise to urgently help meet the Scottish government climate targets of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2045 or sooner,” she said.
“This industry is already in action and there are many companies who already produce energy from renewable sources. As a sector, we are on track to reduce our own emissions by 50% in 2030, and 90% by 2040.
“As we welcome returning and new MSPs, I hope Scotland can deepen its conversation about the energy transition in a way which engages with the people and companies already driving real change in energy communities in the north-east and across Scotland.
“Our supply chain companies who are already well on the journey need the support of the Scottish Government to ensure we all deliver a turbo-charged transition. This will help move faster towards a low-carbon future, developing homegrown greener energy and reducing reliance on imported oil and gas.
“It will ensure our changing industry continues to make an important economic contribution, supporting jobs and developing new careers and opportunities.”
Tribute to former minister for energy
Along with her recommendations for the new parliament, Ms Michie paid tribute to the former minister for energy Paul Wheelhouse, who lost his bid to take constituency Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire.
Speaking after the election results, Ms Michie said: “Paul Wheelhouse has been a champion of our industry and the energy sector as a whole, understanding as he did the importance of the industry to Scotland’s economy today and to being the backbone of the energy transition moving forward.
“I’d like to thank him for the support and challenge he provided to us throughout his tenure as energy minister.
“We look forward to meeting our new minister in the coming days and weeks, particularly as we continue to navigate the operational challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, while working to secure a fair transition for Scotland’s changing oil and gas industry.”