Target defeat disappoints Angus MP

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Angus MP Mike Weir has expressed his disappointment that the efforts to achieve a decarbonisation target in the Energy Bill were defeated.

The lack of a target, which was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons, could have implications for the local economy.

Mr Weir said: “The issue is very important to Scotland, where the development of green energy is a vital part of the revitalisation of our manufacturing industry.

“It is interesting to note that the Scottish economy has achieved some growth over the last two quarters, much of it through the energy sector.

“Scotland’s offshore potential is huge, 25 per cent of the entire European potential. If we are able to harness that we could attract billions of pounds worth of investment and create tens of thousands of highly skilled and sustainable jobs.

“Indeed Scotland’s offshore wind route map outlined the potential for £30 billion worth of investment with up to 28,000 direct and 20,000 indirect jobs by 2020.”

Mr Weir added that many companies were now looking at investments that would not come on stream until after 2020 and were unsure of the UK government’s intentions into the future which could jeopardise investment.

He continued: “In Angus we already have many people and firms involved in the offshore oil and gas industry whose skills can be readily transferred to tackle the difficulties of offshore renewables.

“The local economy could gain a huge boost from investment in offshore wind farms and the associated on shore business, but we need to ensure that the companies who are looking at such massive investments are satisfied that we will continue to move to low carbon energy.

“A decarbonisation target on the face of the bill would have given that assurance.

“The Scottish government has recognised the need to build up our manufacturing base to ensure that the work does not go abroad and we simply end up importing equipment instead of building it ourselves.

“They have committed to a target for Scotland, unfortunately the UK government is unwilling to grasp the opportunity to create new sustainable jobs in green manufacturing.”