Lib Dems call for Highlands commission to help shift from fossil fuels

The proposals would give voice to the communities in the northern parts of the country.

Lib Dems call for Highlands commission to help shift from fossil fuels Piola666 via IStock
Greener future: The proposals would give voice to the communities in the northern parts of the country.

The Scottish Lib Dems have called for the creation of a commission on the transition away from oil and gas in the Highlands and Islands.

The proposals would give voice to the communities in the northern parts of the country which would be affected by a move away from fossil fuels.

As part of the agreement between the SNP and the Scottish Greens, a £500m Just Transition Fund was announced, to be distributed over the next parliamentary term.

Leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said “no community should be left behind”.

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He added: “The Highlands and Islands helped Scotland reach new heights of prosperity by adapting to make the most of the North Sea oil and gas. Now, people in these places are looking to the future and the potential a climate-friendly future could hold.

“But families, livelihoods and communities have been built around industries that are now in decline. These areas depend on future opportunities, and they need help to find them.

“This is a bid to recognise how important oil and gas has been to communities across the entire north of Scotland and ensure that everyone gets the skills, support and retraining they need to thrive.”

Meanwhile, Orkney MSP and Lib Dem climate emergency spokesman Liam McArthur said: “Areas like Orkney have already shown incredible, world-leading innovation. From the development of tidal energy to low emission transport options, the islands having been leading the way.

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“At the same time, many people still work in the oil and gas industry, and haven’t yet found a way to switch to something more sustainable. There should be a transition for those people, their jobs shouldn’t just be sacrificed.”