How Westminster betrayed Scotland on carbon capture and storage

In 2014, the UK government promised to make Scotland a world leader in carbon capture technology – committing funding for a new carbon capture and storage plant in Scotland.

Now, it’s revealed as a yet another Westminster broken promise.

The UK government chose to reject funding for the Scottish Acorn project, diverting money to England instead.

What they said…

In 2014, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey confirmed Peterhead as the location for the world’s first gas-fired carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility – backed up by a £100 million UK government investment.

Ed Davey said an independent Scotland would find it “more difficult to proceed” with the project, and insisted it was not a bribe to get Scots to vote ‘No’ in the independence referendum.

What actually happened…”

Whether or not it was a bribe, it isn’t true.

The Scottish CCS project would have captured emissions from Grangemouth and St Fergus, plus a new power station at Peterhead – and would be a crucial component in meeting our world-leading net zero targets.

However, the UK government has recently announced that the Scottish Acorn cluster will not receive fundingdespite being said to be “shovel ready”, the most advanced and cost-effective out of all options.

What they said…

The 2015 UK Tory manifesto boasted of being “the greenest government ever… committing £1 billion for carbon capture and storage.”

What actually happened…”

However, just months after the election, in November 2015, the UK Tory government has broken its own manifesto promise.

Days before the UN climate change conference in Paris, the UK government has cancelled its £1 billion investment for carbon capture and storage technology – snubbing the leading project in Peterhead.

What they said…

At the most recent Tory party conference, on 5 October 2021, Boris Johnson went on Scottish radio to suggest that the Scottish carbon capture and storage project was about to receive UK government investment.

On 14 October, UK Energy minister Greg Hands visited Aberdeen to talk about the potential for carbon capture and storage.

What actually happened…

The Scottish project was considered crucial in Scotland’s journey towards Net Zero, and offered workers in the North East an opportunity for a Just Transition into an alternative, greener industry – creating up to 15,000 jobs over the next three decades.

However, the UK government has decided to sideline Scotland once again.

While the Scottish Government is investing £500 million in a Just Transition from fossil fuels, UK government decisions are once again holding Scotland back.