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North has key role in creating jobs in renewables industry, says Highlands and Islands Green MSP

By Gordon Calder

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THE Highlands and Islands have a key role to play in creating "sustainable and quality" jobs in the renewables industry, according to north MSP, Ariane Burgess.

She welcomed the recent announcement about a renewables hub at Nigg and the proposed Islands Centre for Net Zero on Orkney.

Ms Burgess said that along with proposals to expand Scotland’s renewable energy, there are plans to create thousands of new jobs in sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels.

"Sustainable and quality jobs will be created as part of a Just Transition away from oil and gas," she said.

Ariane Burgess welcomes plans for renewables industry in the north
Ariane Burgess welcomes plans for renewables industry in the north

The Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands raised the issue at First Minister Questions in the Scottish Parliament and afterwards said: "The pausing of Cambo – the proposed oil development off the coast of Shetland – shows that the need for secure and sustainable jobs in our Highland and Island communities is greater than ever.

"While the Tories have nothing but shameful scare stories for workers, Greens in government are getting on with the task of delivering a Just Transition. We are committed to Green jobs funding for Moray and the North East and are expanding Scotland’s capacity to produce renewable energy.

"Scotland has a quarter of Europe’s offshore renewable potential, which is why I was delighted to see the potential for 400 renewables jobs at Nigg and that the Islands Centre for Net-Zero, based in Orkney, has been included as a national development in the new draft National Planning Framework."

She added: "While the Tories are stuck in the past, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Scotland’s future lies in leading Europe’s drive to clean energy as an independent nation."

The development of the controversial Cambo oil field was put on hold after oil giants Shell, which owned a 30 per cent stake in the project, pulled out citing financial viability concerns.

As a result, Siccar Point Energy, the company behind the development, said Shell’s decision to withdraw meant they could not continue with their timescale to start drilling.

However, it was stressed the decision does not mean the project has been cancelled.

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