EU Climate Change Package "A Massive Boost For Scotland"

17 December 2008
SNP Member of the European Parliament and substitute member of the Parliament's Energy, Research and Industry Committee Mr Alyn Smith has today hailed the adoption in Strasbourg of a number of reports on climate change as creating a huge open goal for Scotland.

He has been working closely with Jim Mather MSP, Energy Minister in the SNP government in Scotland on the dossier, and has released a brief on the key points of the vote today. Smith was nominated in the MEP of the Year Awards 2008 for his work in the Energy field.

MEPs backed five reports by massive majorities on: renewable technology; emissions trading; carbon capture and storage; emission performance in cars; and sharing effort in reducing greenhouse gases with the developing world. The SNP backed all reports except one on effort-sharing because of concerns over the impact it may have on the economies of countries in the developing world.

Smith said:

"This vote has been a long time coming, and there were times I did think the whole package would collapse, but I'm truly pleased with today's vote, we did a good bit of work for green energy and our citizens today.

"Also, given Scotland is naturally Europe's energy powerhouse we have a massive amount to gain from increased EU resources going into transmission infrastructure, research funding, emissions trading and ambitious targets. I'm grateful to the SNP government in Scotland for the unstinting support and interest in this package, and look forward to working with them to pick out the parts of the package we want to make our own.

"This package prioritises funding for projects close to our heart like the North Sea Supergrid, a clean, green, EU Energy Research Centre, as well as giving legal guarantees for priority access to the grid for renewable energies.

"I will be cascading these votes to councils across Scotland to make sure the whole country knows just how big, and how open a goal we have created for Scotland's island, remote, rural communities to play our part in fighting climate change, as well as kicking off our low carbon economy.

"Of course, it was not all good, and in particular the biofuels targets remain in the package, but crucially watered down and more flexible. All in all, however, a good day's voting!"