RESHUFFLE SHOWS TRUE TORY COLOURS ON GREEN ISSUES

The SNP Energy and Climate Change spokesperson Mike Weir MP said the reshuffle signalled a worrying shift on environmental policies from the UK Government, with the true Tory colours shining through.

Owen Paterson, the new Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is reported to have called for “ending of all energy subsidies” and has spoken against wind farms. Together with the moving of Justine Greening from Transport, who opposed the third runway at Heathrow, Mr Weir said the reshuffle raised questions over the UK Government’s commitment to meeting climate change targets.

Mr Weir said:

“This reshuffle removes any last hint of green from the true blue Tory Cabinet. The days when David Cameron promised the ‘greenest government ever’ are now a distant memory.

“The appointment of an Environment Secretary who is against wind farms and energy subsidies will be a cause for concern for the vital renewables industry.

“Renewables is not just about tackling climate change – it’s about attracting investment and creating jobs. The renewables industry now meets 35 per cent of Scotland’s annual demand for electricity and directly employs more than 11,000 people across the country.

“The UK Government has already created uncertainty over funding for onshore wind, and remains wedded to the discredited and expensive nuclear power industry. Regressive measures from an increasingly right-wing Tory led Government must not be allowed to hinder the continued growth of this vital industry.”

“This reshuffle shows the UK Government has its priorities all wrong. Instead of pandering to the right of their party, they should be supporting the Scottish Government’s efforts to invest in a clean, green energy future. Instead of debating a third runway at congested Heathrow, they should be encouraging a modal shift from plane to train by committing to High Speed Rail to Scotland, not Birmingham.”

“The UK Government reshuffle shows Cameron’s attempt at a green rinse has worn off and their true Tory colours are coming through.”