offshore_windThe Green MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato, has said the decision by the government to block the Navitus Bay wind farm off the coast of Bournemouth is another example of the government’s ‘ideological obsession against renewable energy’. The scheme would have involved 121 turbines 10 miles off the Dorset coast and generated enough renewable electricity to power 700,000 homes. Dr Scott Cato rejects the idea that the scheme would damage the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site. She said:

“Opponents have argued that Navitus Bay would threaten the Jurassic Coast. The rising sea levels and storm surges associated with climate change are a far greater threat to this wonderful coastline. Projects like Navitus help to reduce the carbon emissions responsible for changing the planet’s climate.”

Molly Scott Cato also rejected the idea that the project would threaten the area’s tourism industry, pointing out it would have secured many new jobs:

“Surveys have concluded that the vast majority of businesses expect their business to increase or remain stable, while three quarters believed Navitus Bay would have little or no impact on their business prospects. Furthermore, research I commissioned earlier this year concluded that a renewable energy revolution in Dorset could create 15,000 quality jobs in the county; Navitus Bay would have provided a significant contribution to these new jobs.”

Dr Scott Cato went on to accuse the government of an ‘addiction to fossil fuels and nuclear’ and warned of a looming energy gap:

“The Hinkley C nuclear power station is looking increasingly precarious and even if the government can stitch up a deal with Chinese investors, it will not generate a single megawatt of electricity until at least 2023.  A Tory government stuck in a dark age, attached to dinosaur industries, is increasing the chances of the lights going out. The solution is clear: renewable energy projects such as Navitus that can help us transition quickly to energy security in a clean and green way.”

During a radio interview on Radio Solent earlier today [1], Molly Scott Cato also rounded on local Tory MPs who have opposed Navitus Bay, describing them as ‘mates and cronies’ of the fossil fuel industry. Bournemouth West MP, Conor Burns, has been a vociferous opponent of the project and has declared interests in the oil and gas industry:

“At a time when investors are rapidly coming to the realisation that it is time to divest from fossil fuels; Mr Burns and his Tory cronies are notable exceptions. Bournemouth is one of the UK’s largest centres for financial services and in October I will be meeting key stakeholders to look at the growing threat posed by the carbon bubble – the over-valuation of fossil fuel assets. Divestment from fossil fuels is gaining momentum amongst European institutions. It is clear the smart money of the future is in renewables.”

Notes

[1] BBC Radio Solent, breakfast show, from 01:38:50

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