A new report on ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change, written by vivideconomics and commissioned by WWF Scotland was published on January 23rd. ‘A Climate of Possibility: Harnessing Scotland’s natural resources to end our contribution to climate change’ argues that:
Scotland is a country laden with natural advantages for net zero. From our abundant renewable energy resource, to our large land area suitable for carbon sinks such as forests and restored peatlands, to our history of innovation and skilled workforce, this report shows we can hit net zero before other UK nations and be among the global leaders on this issue.
There’s much to be commended in the introduction to the report. The authors are absolutely right that we have multiple options. However, as the report develops, one option, Greenhouse Gas Reduction through Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), is given prominence. In my view this is unhelpful. CCS is an unproven technology that would be capital intensive (making the involvement of corporations inevitable) and take longer than we’ve got. A specialist paper on CCS notes that
Although technologies regarding the capture and storage of CO2 exist, the overall cost of using current CCS procedures is still high and must be substantially reduced before it can be widely deployed. There are multiple hurdles to CCS deployment that need to be addressed in the coming years, including the absence of a clear business case for investment in CCS, and the absence of robust economic incentives to support the additional high capital and operating costs associated with CCS.
The fundamental point is (see ScotE3 Briefing 3: Time for action ) that the world desperately needs sources of energy which are clean, secure and affordable, and which can be readily put under democratic control. Fossil fuels have none of those characteristics. To continue to extract, burn and rely on them, and depend on greenhouse gas removal to address climate change, would mean continuing with insecurity of supply, oil imperialism and wars (Venezuela and Iran examples currently in the news), and high energy prices in order to meet the profit margin requirements of the big corporations who control their extraction and distribution. A focus on CCS plays into the hands of the corporations.
NB We’d welcome further contributions on this topic.
image from commons.wikimedia.org
The latest Scot.E3 briefing looks at what we mean by Just Transition and how a focus on climate jobs, workers rights and social justice can be core the the transition to a zero carbon economy. Please download, use in your workplace and community group. These briefings are produced under an open license so do feel free to adapt – although we’d appreciate if you include attribution to the existing material and if you can send a copy for further sharing/development.
It’s great that the last few days have seen an upsurge in protest against inaction on climate change. In our view climate jobs are vital to a transition to a sustainable economy. ‘Climate Jobs and a mass movement’ is intended as a contribution to the debate and can be downloaded to use as a flyer.
The third contribution to the introductory session at the #justtransitionsconference was from Brian Parkin who outlined the resources and skills that will underpin the transition to a zero carbon economy.
Also in the first session at the #justtransitions conference Matthew Crighton from Friends of the Earth Scotland looked at the Scottish context and the opportunities and challenges that presents.
Just Transitions: Employment, Energy and Environment
A one day conference on Saturday 17 November
The aim of the conference is to bring together rank and file trade unionists, and climate activists to debate and discuss the transition to a sustainable economy. The focus is on jobs, energy and the environment. Contributors include Joe Pisani (Unite steward Balfour Beattie, Rosyth Dockyard and Unite Executive), Jonathan Neale (Campaign Against Climate change and coauthor of the Million Climate Jobs pamphlet), Andrew Feinstein (author, filmmaker and CAAT), Fliss Premu (REEL news) and Hazel Graham (Cumbrian climate activist). The agenda will cover climate change, transitions, job creation and defence divestment.
Sign up for the conference on Eventbrite
If you would like to book one or more children into the creche please email Zareen at firstname.lastname@example.org with the names and ages of the children. To ensure that we have sufficient creche workers bookings for the creche will close on 12th November.
If you are a member of an organisation that could sponsor the conference download the invitation letter here
You can download a poster/flyer to advertise the conference here
Just Transitions: Employment, Energy and Environment
Friday 12th October, 7.30pm Augustine United Church, George 4th Bridge, Edinburgh
Showing of the REEL News film, Just Transitions, followed by discussion
The latest ScotE3 briefing looks at the uncertain contribution that Scotland’s two ageing nuclear reactors make to energy supply, argues that nuclear has no place in a sustainable energy policy and that immediate steps should be taken to invest in alternatives. Download the bulletin here.
Very useful account of INEOS’s history and activities by Andy Gheorghiu – Policy Advisor – Food & Water Europe. Filmed as part of the talks given from the Ineos, Fracking and You, tour in Yorkshire, Feb 2018.
Just Transition: A low carbon economy that benefits workers and communities
Just Transition is a new film from REEL News that looks how workers around the world are engaged with the struggle for a low carbon economy. The final section of the film focuses on Scotland and the recent fight by workers at BiFab to keep their jobs.
We’ll be showing the film at the Augustine Church on George 4th Bridge, 3pm Saturday 20th January.
After the film there’ll be plenty of time for discussion of the issues it raises.
Keep up to date on details of the event at https://www.facebook.com/events/1812607072365284/