The Scotland chapter of the World Wildlife Fund is blasting the Scottish government's decision to create a taxpayer-funded £10 million for the oil and gas industry.
Scotland is a key -- if not the key -- access port to offshore platforms in the North Sea and the government has been trying to leverage that advantage for broader economic development ends -- for instance, becoming the major supply chain conduit and infrastructure for the platform decommissioning industry.
Given the age of many platforms in the North Sea, the decommissioning industry is poised for incredible growth in the region.
But supporters of fostering the renewable energy sector are far from pleased.
"The Scottish Government continues to try to have it both ways on our energy future," said Dr. Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, in a written statement.
"We have the best climate targets in the world and you can’t fault Ministers for their enthusiasm for renewables," he wrote. "But at the same time they continue to bend over backwards to keep the oil industry happy. This fund comes on top of further tax breaks from the UK Government, all dangled in front some of the world's richest companies."
Dixon believes the government, industry and the economic development community needs to continue to work to ensure the world switches on to clean, job-creating renewable energy sources" by turning off the tap of money going to dirty oil and gas."
"If renewables are not to be undermined we should be using public money to create a low carbon future not to prop up the profits of oil companies," he said.
“This £10 million could have, and should instead, be allocated to helping us reduce our oil dependency and provide much needed investment in walking, cycling, renewables and energy efficiency.”