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Michael Matheson: Scotland can ‘easily’ replace Russian gas with other imports

Michael Matheson: Scotland can ‘easily’ replace Russian gas with other imports
The Energy Secretary said the country’s energy supply was secure and not reliant on Russia.

Scotland’s supply of energy is secure and Russian gas imports can be easily replaced with other sources, Energy Secretary Michael Matheson has said.

He was responding to calls from the 保守派 为了 Scottish Government to reconsider its position on North Sea oil and gas in light of the war in Ukraine and concerns about the supply of gas to Europe.

Natural gas from Russia accounts for a third of Europe’s consumption of the fossil fuel.

The EU is considering plans to cut these imports dramatically and US President 乔拜登 has decided to ban Russian oil imports.

Michael Matheson has set out the Government’s position on North Sea energy (Fraser Bremner)
Michael Matheson has set out the Government’s position on North Sea energy (Fraser Bremner)

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Matheson reiterated the Government’s position that unlimited extraction of fossil fuels was not consistent with climate obligations.

他说: “苏格兰 and the UK as a whole has security of energy supplies as it stands at the present moment.

“It has a very low reliance on importing gas from Russia, apparently around 2%, which could easily be displaced by alternative routes.”

Saying there was no issue around security of supply, 他加了: “We are at the point where we have an equivalent of Scotland’s domestic electricity supply, 一些 80% (或者) 90% of it, now coming from renewable sources.”

He was responding to questions from Conservative MSP, Liam Kerr, who asked if a full investigation into future energy security was carried out.

Liam Kerr asked if an investigation had been carried out (Fraser Bremner)
Liam Kerr asked if an investigation had been carried out (Fraser Bremner)

Mr Kerr said: “The UK Government has been clear that we must ramp up domestic gas production to replace Russian supplies and reduce costs on UK families.”

He said SNP politicians, including Ian Blackford and Fergus Ewing, had called for more homegrown gas to ensure security of supply.

Mr Kerr added: “What evidence does the Cabinet Secretary have that convinces him that in rejecting more domestic production, he and Nicola Sturgeon are right, and everybody else is wrong?”

The Energy Secretary said the climate crisis had not gone away.

Mr Matheson said: “The answer to the member’s question is to step up the decarbonisation of our energy system.

“Just in the way in which Germany are proposing to do by bringing forward their target by some 15 年, just by the way in which the Dutch Prime Minister said yesterday when he was in London, sharing a platform with Boris Johnson.

“The answer to this is to decarbonise at a faster rate.”