SUBMISSION FROM STOP CLIMATE CHAOS SCOTLAND Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is a coalition of nearly 40 organisations campaigning on climate change. SCCS members include environment and development NGOs, faith groups, trade unions, community councils, student societies, women’s organisations, a mental health charity, and many others. In Scotland, those members have a combined supporter base of over 1.5 million. We welcome the opportunity to respond to Determining and Delivering Scotland’s Energy Future, the Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee’s inquiry into Scotland’s energy future. This document represents the areas of broad consensus in the coalition, and does not necessarily represent the detailed policy positions of all members. For the more detailed positions of individual members, please refer to their individual submissions. 1. What type of future is needed in Scotland in terms of the production, distribution and more efficient use of energy, given the issues of price, security of supply and sustainable development? Stop Climate Chaos Scotland believes there is an urgent need for a Scottish energy strategy that will achieve the required reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time delivering a secure and affordable supply of energy. The energy sector is highly significant in terms of its contribution to Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2005, direct emissions from the energy sector in Scotland (excluding transport) totalled 37%. Including indirect emissions – such as those from the domestic and business sectors – almost doubles the figure to 73% 1 . It is therefore clear that it will be impossible to achieve the challenging target of reducing Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 – a target which has been set in line with current science and adopted by the Scottish Government - without major emissions reductions in the energy sector. In order to achieve this reduction, an immediate and sustained transformation in the generation, distribution and use of Scotland’s energy will be necessary. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland further believes that any Scottish energy strategy should include a sustainability clause to ensure, for example, that any increases in renewable capacity do not come at the expense of our local or global environment. 1 Calculated using data from Changing Our Ways – Scotland’s Climate Change Programme, and the Greenhouse Gas Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990 -2005. Report to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Scottish Executive, The Welsh Assembly Government and The Northern Ireland Department of Environment. EPEO/ED05452200 AEAT/ENV/R/2500 Draft Final August 2007. 2. How can this future be delivered in Scotland and how will we meet all the various targets and obligations Stop Climate Chaos Scotland believes that any Energy Strategy must be developed within the context of the Scottish Climate Change Bill. We have welcomed the proposed Bill and support the inclusion within it of at least an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050, statutory annual reductions of at least 3% per annum, and the inclusion of emissions from aviation and shipping. We welcome the Scottish Government’s stated intention to incentivise energy efficiency and renewable energy (as outlined in the Scottish Climate Change Bill consultation document). It may be appropriate to mandate Ministers to set targets in these areas through the Bill itself, though the more appropriate place to include the detail of how these targets might be met would be in an Energy Strategy. We would expect an Energy Strategy to support an energy hierarchy with targets for demand reduction, energy efficiency and a broad range of renewable technologies. The hierarchy would mean that options would be sought in demand management and energy efficiency before attempting inappropriate environmental compromises in the development of renewable energy capacity. Additionally, such an approach would recognise that it is pointless from a carbon reduction perspective to pursue renewables without addressing demand increases. However, an energy hierarchy would also ensure that renewables options were exploited in preference to fossil fuel capacity, to meet the demand remaining after demand reduction and efficiency measures. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland has called for the Scottish Climate Change Bill to establish a Scottish Commission on Climate Change, and it may be that this is an appropriate body to advise on the exact targets for demand reduction, energy efficiency and renewables. There are two other options that Stop Climate Chaos Scotland would like to see examined as part of the Energy Strategy development. The first is the potential for decentralised grid systems, localised production and a focus on community-scale renewables schemes. The second is the development of carbon capture and storage technology. While our preference would be an entirely decarbonised energy sector, we realise that generation from coal and gas is likely to continue at current levels for the near future. If this is the case, we would like to see considerable Government commitment to research and investment in cleaning up these technologies as soon as possible. 3. What decisions need to be taken, by when and by whom to deliver on Scotland’s energy future? Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is keen to stress the need for urgency in bringing forward a coherent and sustainable Scottish Energy Strategy. Climate change is already having devastating consequences on people living in poverty across the developing world, and high fuel prices have led to thousands of people in our own country living in crippling fuel poverty. The window of opportunity for taking the necessary action is shrinking every day. We would like to see greater liaison across the departments of the Scottish Government, to ensure that demand reduction and energy efficiency measures are implemented across all sectors – public, private and domestic. It is clear that we are reaching peak fossil fuel capacity, and have not yet developed full renewable capacity. This energy gap desperately needs to be addressed, and it will take a strategic, sustainable and balanced Energy Policy to do so. If Scotland is to meet even its current renewables targets, let alone any more challenging future targets, it is crucial that the Scottish Government finds a way to speed up the rate of approvals and get renewables online faster, without undermining the overall principles of the planning system.