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‘Complete disregard’: SNP urged to stand up to the Greens in north-east amid oil and gas row

Aberdeen has been at the heart of the North Sea oil industry.

The SNP is being urged to stand up to their new Green party government partners in the shift away from oil and gas.

Douglas Lumsden, Conservative MSP for the North East, questioned the SNP’s commitment to the proposed Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone following their decision to go into partnership with the Scottish Greens.

At portfolio questions today he accused the SNP of abandoning the north-east, claiming the Scottish Greens are the “tail wagging the dog” in government when it comes to the move to greener energy.

Disregard for north-east a ‘disgrace’

Mr Lumsden said: “It is now clear that when it comes to energy transition and net zero the SNP are the junior partners in this coalition of chaos.

“Support for oil and gas businesses – gone.

Support for A96 dualling – gone.

“No firm support for the energy transition zone plans.

North East MSP Douglas Lumsden wants the law to be changed to protect local planning decisions from being overturned by the government.
Douglas Lumsden MSP

“With this coalition we can see the tail is very much wagging the dog.

“The Greens, who are against the city’s transition proposal, seem to be the bosses in this nonsense of a coalition, and it’s clear the SNP have no backbone whatsoever.

“The SNP are showing a complete disregard to the people of the north-east and are content on giving the Greens the top seat at the table – it’s a disgrace.

“Aberdeen’s energy transition zone is transformational for not just our city but the whole of Scotland which is why it’s vital the project gets government backing.

“The UK Government allocated £27 million from the chancellor’s budget statement to this fantastic project and it’s vital it now gets support from all parties.”

Calls for UK Government to pledge support

Following Mr Lumsden’s questions Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for energy and net zero, reiterated calls for the UK Government to match the Scottish Government’s funding of £500million for a “just transition” in the north-east.

Michael Matheson MSP, cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport

In response to his question, Mr Matheson said: “We are investing £62 million into the energy transition zone to support the skills base which is critical to supporting the transition to zero carbon technology.

“Going forward we have a commitment to drive forward changes in the industry which has been welcomed by those in the north-east.

“This is alongside a £500 million investment in the years ahead to support transition in the north-east.

“I hope the member will find it in his heart to welcome the half a billion pounds and be big enough to stand up to his partners in London and say ‘match the ambition of the Scottish Government’ by providing £500 million in the way the Scottish Government has, demonstrating a commitment to the north-east and to a just transition.”

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