Commenting, STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“This is a UK energy strategy that fails to address the crisis of workers across Scotland making the calculated decision between having a hot meal or a warm home. Energy suppliers have profited during a crisis. We cannot allow that to go unchallenged and we’re reiterating our call for an urgent windfall tax, redistributed and put directly into the pockets of hard-pressed people across the country.
“The strategy has nothing to say on home insulation – something that could be rolled out far quicker than new power generation and bring real benefit in terms of jobs and fuel poverty. That it fails to do this, does not bode well for the level of investment that needs to flow from the UK Government to the Scottish Government and then down to Scotland’s Local Authorities to decarbonise our homes.
“On offshore wind, the strategy is focussed on speeding up planning rather than making developments conditional on providing real jobs in the supply chain. We will need to see for more action from both the Scottish and the UK Government if we are not to see more broken promises from a sector which is all too content to offshore jobs to the other side of the world. While bringing a small part of National Grid into public ownership is a small positive step, recognising that planning the electricity system is best done in the public sector, it does beg the question why our grids remain privatised, slowing climate action and driving up bills.
“The strategy promises no new help to preserve jobs in energy-intensive industries, threatened by soaring energy costs. And it fails to invest in zero-carbon steel and clean manufacturing.
“If the UK Government are serious in tackling the climate emergency this strategy would set out how they intend to retain and increase unionised, well-paid jobs within the energy sector. It doesn’t and workers cannot be caught in the crossfire whilst government ministers seek to prioritise the energy giants over the workforce.
“Workers cannot be caught in the crossfire whilst government ministers seek to prioritise the energy giants over ordinary people.”