Environmental group Friends of the Earth Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to stop funding carbon capture projects, but rather focus on other climate solutions, Scottish media reported Sunday.
The campaigners called the technology – which prevents harmful emissions from being released into the environment by storing them underground – a “dangerous distraction”, pointing to its history of “long and inglorious failure” in the UK.
According to the charity, public money should instead be directed towards “climate solutions that we know can deliver emissions cuts and improve peoples’ lives”.
“Scottish ministers need to wake up and realise that carbon capture and these other so-called negative emissions technologies are a dangerous distraction from the urgent and necessary working of cutting emissions at source and delivering a just transition away from fossil fuels,” Alex Lee, who is climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, was quoted as saying.
MPs on the Scottish Affairs Committee have been advocating for the UK Government to include the Acorn project in North East Scotland in the next budget, to be announced shortly. The project was not selected for funding in 2021, when the first phase of the government’s cluster sequencing process took place.
On Friday, the Committee issued a report warning that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is crucial for the capacity of both Scotland and the UK to fulfil their net-zero commitments. Similarly, Michael Matheson, Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport in the Scottish Government Cabinet, called the technology “a vital part of our just transition to a net zero future”.
According to Mr. Matheson, the Scottish Government fully supports the technology, with a total £80 million earmarked to fund its deployment and an additional £5 million in a carbon utilization fund. “Scotland can’t afford any further delays from the UK Government,” the Secretary said, calling for a concrete timeline so that Track-2 clusters can receive confirmation this year.