When the steam turbines at Longannet power station ceased to turn in March 2016 there was no coal being burnt for electricity production anywhere in Scotland for the first time in about 115 years.
Scotland invented much of the technology which made the Industrial Revolution possible, so this is highly significant step, a step on our way to being powered only by clean, renewable energy. Following the failure of the Paris climate summit to deliver on a global deal to avert catastrophic warming, it is a powerful signal for what can be achieved at national level in the ongoing fight against climate change.
Sadly, even before it started we knew the deal in Paris would set us on course for a 3ºCelsius warming – assuming everyone actually delivers on their voluntary targets. That’s well short of the 2ºC world leaders promised 5 years ago, let alone the 1.5ºC limit needed to save low-lying island nations.
Campaigners and communities around the world need to make up for the failure of their leaders. The Fossil Free Scotland Campaign is our response to the failure of the Paris climate talks, and our aim is to help bring about a 100% renewable, no nuclear, super-efficient, zero-fossil-fuel Scotland. It is the biggest and most ambitious campaign that Friends of the Earth Scotland have ever run.
We’ve brought together our work on fracking and the other unconventional fossil fuels with our efforts to get more local clean energy generated and our fight to free up £1.7bn of public sector pension money to do good here at home instead of funding the destructive overseas activities of the likes of Shell and BP. We are continuing to press the Government to actually deliver on Scotland’s strong climate targets, to transform transport and deliver on energy efficiency. And have started the badly-needed conversation with Government, industry and the unions about a just transition out of oil and gas jobs and into clean energy jobs.
You read more about Longannet and the need to plan for an end to North Sea oil in this blog.
You can find out more about our campaign to clean up transport here.
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