Campaigners Celebrate Demise Of Coal-Fired Power Plan
Edinburgh, Scotland: WWF was today celebrating a major campaign victory following news that plans to build what would have been the first new coal-fired power station in the UK for 40 years, and one of the few remaining live proposals in Europe, have been abandoned.
The proposal by Peel Group to build the 1,852MW coal-fired power station on the west coast of Scotland had been opposed for five years by a coalition of environmental, development and faith organisations spearheaded by WWF and its main partner on the campaign - the RSPB.
With the assistance of its global network of supporters, WWF had earlier helped generate the majority of the almost 22,000 letters of objection to the scheme - making it the most unpopular proposal in Scotland's planning history.
The groups had warned that the scheme would have contributed to global climate change and run counter to Scotland's world-leading climate change targets, undermined Scotland's ambitious plans to generate 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables, and damaged valuable local wildlife sites.
Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland, said:
"This is stunning victory and proof that polluting coal-fired power stations can be defeated through coordinated local, nation and international action. With the support of WWF teams around the world, we have been working tirelessly for the past five years for this moment.
"It is clear that the company just finally woke up and realised that they were trying to push through the most unpopular planning application ever in Scotland. With the local community opposed, the local council against it, over 22,000 objections and no chance of winning the public inquiry, walking away was the only sensible option.”
Although the company had claimed that it would capture some of the carbon from the power station, in reality 83% of the plants carbon emissions would still have gone straight up the chimney.
Dr Dixon added:
"This was always the wrong application in the wrong place. With our world-leading climate change and ambitious renewable power targets to meet, the last thing Scotland needed was a new coal-fired power station hiding behind a green ‘figleaf’. We hope this result brings hope to all those communities resisting dirty coal around the world.”
Last year WWF published ‘The Energy Report’ which showed that the whole world could get almost all of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. Scotland is hoping to play a leading role in this global clean energy transition.