The Scottish Greens say they’ll give a “job guarantee” for all oil and gas workers as the industry transitions to green energy jobs.
Speaking on our Election Hub Live politics show, Greens Co-leader Lorna Slater said there’s “no question” that production in the North Sea has to be phased out “to meet our legal obligations under the Paris Agreement” but that her party would work to ensure it was a painless transition for workers.
“The catch is – and of course we’re very serious about this – nobody who works in that industry should suffer hardship because of it, so we’ve got in our manifesto a job guarantee for all oil and gas workers to make sure we can transition over to renewable energy.”
Questions have been raised about where all the new jobs green energy will be located, and whether oil and gas workers who made their homes in the northeast will have to uproot themselves and their families and move away as the industry declines.
Ms Slater, who works in the renewable energy sector herself as an electromechanical engineer, says that more than 70% of people who work in the industry want to find new jobs in the renewable energy sector, especially in new cutting-edge careers with long-term futures.
“Oil and gas is a sunset industry. It must decline all over the world in order to save our planet’s biosphere. We know that, oil and gas companies know it, pension companies who are investing know it, everyone knows it must decline.
A green revolution in Scotland”
The Greens want to position a Scotland – now, and after independence – as a world leader in renewable technologies with an economy built around developing new technologies, construction of equipment and generating energy.
She cited the recent example 0f Orbital Marine Power’s giant yellow tidal turbine, which was launched from the Port of Dundee last week. Manufactured by Texo Fabrications in Dundee, the Orbital O2 is the world’s most powerful tidal turbine.
Costing around £10 million, it will generate 2MW of power from tidal currents near the Orkney Islands, enough to power 2,000 homes.
“We’re so lucky in Scotland, we have 25% of Europe’s offshore renewable energy. We can invest in that to meet not only our own energy needs, but export that to Europe as well” says Slater.
“So this is the basis of a new industry, a green revolution in Scotland.”