Greenock Telegraph 9th October 2020

The issue of renewable energy is one that I have pursued since I was first elected in 2015. I wrote a paper called ‘The Island of Inverclyde’ which highlighted the potential for renewable energy industries in Inverclyde in 2016 and it is as relevant today as it was then.

The Scottish Government has stated that renewable and low carbon energy will provide the foundation of our future energy system, offering Scotland a huge opportunity for economic and industrial growth. The recent announcement by the Scottish Government that nearly £1.6 billion will be directed to support up to 5,000 jobs and tackle fuel poverty is at the heart of plans to drive Scotland’s green recovery and end our contribution to climate change. As part of an enhanced Green New Deal, the investment will transform heat and energy efficiency of buildings and rapidly accelerate the decarbonisation of an area which makes up a quarter of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions. An additional £500 million is being invested in Scotland’s natural economy including £150 million to help deliver a 50% increase in woodland creation by 2024 and an extra £150 million for flood risk management, which is vital to increasing climate change resilience.

Following these announcements, I had already engaged with the Scottish Government to highlight the potential for Inverclyde and so I was delighted to hear this week that the Prime Minister is a new convert to renewables. From talking them down and under investing in them for decades, the Conservatives have seen the light and its generated by wind power. Hopefully, this is not just hot air from the Tories and this will present me with another opportunity, to pursue the UK government to invest in renewable energy projects in Inverclyde. No stone will remain unturned. Jobs are crucial if we are to reverse the population decline and create a more prosperous future.