Serious Concern over Change to Energy Bill
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
The Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has one more voiced his serious reservations about the changes that have been made to the energy bill in parliament on 13th November, and he has stated that the changes made will render Scottish Parliament powerless with regard to the Renewables Obligation (RO) in Scotland. Fergus Ewing is concerned that the latest amendment to the Energy Bill which could see the closure of the RO is in fact cause for some very serious concern.
Scotland has long been known for its proactive attitude towards climate change and the implications of ignoring the need for low carbon emissive forms of energy and has had this on their parliamentary agenda. Scotland would like to see itself at the head of new opportunities for cleaner fuels and protecting the environment as a whole is of great import, striving towards healthier living conditions. The focus has been directed upon the increase of sustainable renewable energy resources with a spin-off economic boost and reduced impact with regard to planetary concerns.
In 2009 Scotland announced the Climate Change (Scotland) act which set out measures to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. It also projected thought for solutions and new technologies to put Scotland in the lead with regard to carbon emission reductions. Amongst its key areas of concern is to produce the equivalent of all of the gross energy consumption annually by 2020, and to produce 11% of heat demands by the same year.
With recognition of climate change and the impact that it can potentially have on Scotland, a proactive stance is in place. Scotland wishes to protect communities from the forces of climate change and minimise risks to the environment. With all of these measures in place the Scottish Parliament is concerned that the changes to the Energy Bill will negate all of the work that has been done to date, as the changes will tie the hands of Scotland by removing parliamentary discretion. This could potentially do damage to investor security and in spite of conversations with Ed Davey, Fergus Ewing is adamant that there are issues of concern that remain that need to be addressed for the outcome to be anything but at best uncertain for Scottish Parliament. It would indeed be a pity to see all of the work done by Scotland to reform energy usage and environmental affairs fall by the wayside because of a loss of autonomy.
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