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by Nicholas Keyden
23 July 2015
Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomes Nicola Sturgeon's plea to David Cameron on onshore wind

Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomes Nicola Sturgeon's plea to David Cameron on onshore wind

Friends of the Earth Scotland has urged David Cameron to heed a request from the First Minister to relax the UK Government’s position on wind farm subsidies. 

This follows a letter, written by Nicola Sturgeon, arguing that wind farms already in the planning system should be granted a reprieve from Ministers, citing the positive effect wind power has for businesses in Scotland.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, commented: “Nicola Sturgeon’s welcome intervention makes the sensible suggestion that wind farms already in the planning system should be allowed to get UK Government support if they get planning permission.”

Stating Scotland's pro-renewable energy policy, he urged: “There is no reason that subsidy policies could not be different north and south of the border to acknowledge the different resources and priorities in Scotland.  Funding renewables in Scotland is much better for money than funding nuclear in England.”

He added: “The UK Government says it wants to be a leader at the Paris climate talks at the end of the year.  It is very hard to see how this claim can have a shred of credibility when they continue to slash investment in green energy.”

Writing to the PM, Sturgeon highlighted the role of renewable wind energy in creating jobs and bringing cash benefits for the people of Scotland.

She writes: “Given your party has traditionally prided itself on being supportive of business, it is concerning that you are taking such an anti-business approach on this issue.”

Quoting Cameron's pledge to “accelerate the transition to a competitive, energy efficient low carbon economy” and to “act and ensure others act with us,” the leader of the SNP voiced concerns in the run up to the UN climate talks in Paris.

“Your government's decision to cut planned support for renewable energy sets an extremely bad example to other countries... and also runs counter to your manifesto commitment to cut emissions as cost-effectively as possible.”

A DECC spokesperson responded: “The top priority is to combat climate change in the most cost-effective way. The government is determined to help industries and technologies stand on their own two feet, not encourage a reliance on public subsidies.”

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