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Scottish saltire

What does Scotland’s independence referendum mean for the environment?

If you can, imagine yourselves on the other side of the referendum. It’s easy to imagine that once such a big question has been asked on 18 September, Scotland’s future will be settled. No, it won’t, not quite. Once Scotland has decided its constitutional direction (the shape, the size, the way it operates, the way […]

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wind farm Scotland

Clean energy: can we go 100% renewable?

Right now, in Europe and elsewhere around the world, governments and politicians are poised to make decisions that could have a profound impact on whether or not we successfully protect our children and grandchildren from the dangerous and uncontrollable impacts of climate change. If we are to be successful then one thing we need to […]

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What do our MEPs do for us?

Looking forward to voting in 2014? No, I don’t mean the independence referendum in Scotland. I mean the European elections on 22 May. So, does this election matter? I’d say it does. But, in 2009, for 71.5% of Scottish people, it didn’t matter enough to vote. However, if you’re interested in the kind of things we’re […]

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Time for Scotland to invest in warmer homes and healthier transport

This Thursday, MSPs will spend their final hours of the 2013 parliamentary calendar debating the draft Scottish Budget for 2014-15 before Finance Secretary John Swinney MSP presents it to the Parliament in the New Year. The Parliament’s Finance committee, charged with scrutinising the Draft Budget, noted that a “renewed effort is required by the Scottish […]

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How Orkney brown crabs could lead us all to clean, green renewable energy

On a recent visit to the Orkney Islands I saw how the ongoing archaeological dig of Neolithic buildings at Ness of Brodgar is helping to re-write the history books by placing the islands right at the centre of ancient Britain, as opposed to its fringes as originally thought. However, my trip also revealed Orkney to […]

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Don’t let Scotland’s emissions reduction plans go up in smoke

It’s a technology that might be able to safely remove and store harmful carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired power stations. According to some studies it could create 13,000 new jobs in Scotland by 2020. However, some five years after the UK government first launched its £1 billion funding competition, aimed at helping kick-start the […]

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Oil escaping from the wrecked Braer tanker

Oil and wildlife don’t mix: 20 years after the Braer disaster

Twenty years ago this week 85,000 tonnes of oil poured out of the Liberian-registered MV Braer after it grounded on rocks on the southern tip of Shetland. In environmental terms the Braer disaster was most definitely a close shave. Had it not been for the weather and the light nature of the oil the spill would […]

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Protest on the beach near Ayrshire against the proposed Hunterston power station Here in the UK

How to defeat dirty-coal in five easy steps (or years)

“When Scotland’s world leading climate laws were passed it was rightly hailed as a great example for the world to follow. Plans for coal-fired power plants that do not capture all the emissions from day one, put that leadership in question. The eyes of the world are watching and hoping that Scotland will reject this […]

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WWF joins protest against Hunterston coal-fired power station

Time-line: the rise and demise of coal-fired plans at Hunterston

And, now, for the geeky amongst you… I didn’t quite believe we’d been fighting this proposal for five years. But, I went back through my files and it’s true. So, here’s my handy guide to the rise and demise of coal-fired plans at Hunterston: November 2008 – Denmark’s Dong Energy, announces Hunterston, in North Ayrshire, as the […]

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Has the tide begun to go out on old, polluting energy sources?

I’m starting to wonder if we saw a glimpse into the future this week… On Monday nuclear power once again proved itself to be unreliable with news emerging of an unexplained shutdown on Sunday of one of the reactors at EDF’s Torness nuclear power station in East Lothian. Thankfully Scotland has grown its renewable energy […]

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