Anas Sarwar says nuclear power must be ‘part of the mix’ as Scotland moves away from fossil fuels


Nuclear power could help Scotland end its dependence on fossil fuels and ease the cost of living crisis, Anas Sarwar said.

The Scottish Labor leader said the process should “be part of the mix” as he relaunched his “Green Labor” campaign on Friday.

Sarwar challenges his party to think big on how to tackle climate change and to pressure the Scottish government to combine its rhetoric on the environment with action.

Both the SNP and the Scottish Greens are strongly opposed to the construction of new nuclear power plants in Scotland.

In 2005, former Labor Prime Minister Jack McConnell threatened to use planning laws to prevent the construction of new nuclear power plants in the country.

But Sarwar insisted that nuclear power could mean lower fuel bills for consumers at a time of rising inflation.

Speaking to reporters aboard an electronically powered bus in Glasgow, he said: “I think we have to be honest about the future opportunities and I think nuclear power has to be part of the mix.

“I’m not saying nuclear power should be the priority, or the lead.

“But it has to be part of the mix to have a diversified energy supply.

“The idea that we can shut down industries and import energy instead – it’s not good for security, it’s not good for jobs, and it’s not good for affordability. “

Stating that the public would not accept an increase in energy bills to pay for the transition, he said: “I want to take the public with us, I don’t want to sacrifice jobs, and I think that means having a policy. credible energy.

He added: “If we tell the public that you are going to get green energy and avoid the climate crisis, but it means your bills are going to go up, it means you are going to lose your job, but that is the price. worth paying – we’re not going to keep the audience with us. “

The GMB union is also a strong supporter of nuclear power in Scotland despite opposition from the SNP.

Sarwar was asked about the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, a group of countries and regions seeking to phase out fossil fuels, which the Scottish government is considering joining.

He said: “What we’re really good at in Scotland is signing big and bold long-term commitments but not getting the job done here and now.

“Of course, we want to move away from the oil and gas industry, but signing a declaration is not in itself enough.

“So yes that shows part of the thinking but the way we do the job right now, making the investment right now to create these jobs is the most important part and I don’t think Scottish governments and British are still taking this seriously. “

Earlier this week, a Scottish Labor amendment during a debate in the Scottish Parliament proposed upgrading a number of roads across Scotland.

When asked if this would lead to an increase in the demand for car travel, Sarwar said road safety is still “really, really important” and many roads are not fit for purpose.

He said: “The idea that we can pretend that we no longer need roads – or safe roads – just isn’t credible and I don’t think the public would believe it.”

SNP MSP Jackie Dunbar said: “The SNP is absolutely clear in its opposition to building new nuclear power plants in Scotland.

“The people of Scotland have always voted for a government that does not support the creation of new nuclear power plants, so why should Scottish taxpayers find themselves paying for Westminster’s nuclear obsession?

“Instead of tying Scottish taxpayers to multi-billion pound contracts, the UK government needs to turn around on its decision not to speed up the Scottish CSC cluster.

“It is essential that they also provide a jar of money reserved for wave and tide related projects at the next energy auction. The move could provide a stable alternative to nuclear power and keep Scotland at the forefront of renewables.

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