'Now is the time to strike on Scotland's green potential', says Flynn

Press reports on Sunday suggest the Acorn project in Aberdeenshire is in line for millions of pounds in UK Government cash.

‘Now is the time to strike on green potential’, says Stephen Flynn as Rishi Sunak to visit Scotland House of Commons

The SNP’s Westminster leader has welcomed reports a carbon capture scheme in Scotland is due to get the green light, claiming “now is the time to strike” on the country’s green potential.

Stephen Flynn responded to reports in the Sunday Times that the Prime Minister will announce funding for the Acorn project in St Fergus, near Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, during a visit to the area on Monday.

The project looks to use legacy oil and gas infrastructure to transport and store carbon, and was passed over in 2021 by the UK Government for funding in favour of similar initiatives in the north of England.

Flynn – MP for Aberdeen South – said in a statement: “The SNP has, for decades now, led the charge on demanding investment for carbon capture and storage in the north east.

“Any investment is, of course, welcome. However, the UK Government has taken Scotland down this path before – and failed to deliver every single time, leaving Scotland’s green energy future in jeopardy. This cannot happen again.

“There can be no more broken promises or delays. Now is the time to strike on Scotland’s green energy potential.

“Having raked in more than £400 billion from Scotland’s natural resources, it’s high time the Tories gave back as it is becoming abundantly clear that our energy-rich country is being failed by Westminster governments far removed from the needs of the Scottish people.”

Flynn added that “with the full powers of independence”, Scotland could control its own energy policy, adding: “We have the energy – we just need the power.”

Reports suggest the announcement will come during a visit to the north-east of Scotland on Monday by the Prime Minister.PA Media

Scottish Tory MP David Duguid – whose Banff and Buchan Coast constituency includes the Acorn project – also welcomed the reports.

“The confirmation of the Scottish Cluster selection for Track 2 validates what I have been saying all along – despite the constant negativity from the SNP who have tried to play divisive political games throughout this process,” he said.

“Their constant downplaying of this project, even predicting that it might never happen, has only served to potentially put off investors.

“It has always been a question of when, not if.”

The Scottish Greens – the SNP’s partners in government – said while there is a place for carbon capture and storage, it is “no substitute” for investment in renewables.

“It must not be used as a justification for more North Sea drilling, which will have a devastating impact on our environment and take us even closer to climate breakdown,” the party’s climate spokesman Mark Ruskell said.

“We cannot wholly rely on a delayed and still largely unproven technology to meet climate targets. So far, CCS has overpromised and underperformed.

“Carbon capture technology can’t deal with emissions from vehicle engines or gas boilers and it must not be used as an excuse to approve Rosebank or any other new oil and gas field which we cannot afford to burn.

“We don’t have time to wait. Irrespective of what is announced, it must not divert our attention from the urgent and immediate need to invest in cost-effective renewable energy solutions.”

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