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Treat us to renewables, don’t trick the climate with coal

SANC outside the HQ of Scottish Power

SANC outside the HQ of Scottish Power

Scotland Against New Coal’s public launch took place this morning at Atlantic Quay in Glasgow, where we played a Halloween game of ‘trick or treat’ at the headquarters of Scottish Power and handed out leaflets to members of the public and staff. Our message? No new coal of course. Scottish Power is currently considering upgrading Longannet Power Station in Fife. At a time when the need to cut carbon emissions is paramount to prevent catastrophic climate change, such a decision would lock Scotland into a damaging, carbon-dependent economy for another generation.

Then we tried (and failed) to get a meeting with Scottish Power CEO Nick Horler. We wanted to ask him to give us a ‘treat’ by agreeing to ditch his plans to continue burning coal at Longannet and opt to invest in clean, renewable alternatives instead. We were also keen to discover whether he fully understood that coal is the most climate-wrecking fuel we could be burning right now, and that unless we cut back drastically on its use Scotland will have no chance of meeting its CO2 reduction targets.

Looking at the homepage of the Scottish Power web site, you’d imagine that Mr Horler understands this very well – there’s not a coal-fired power station in sight, just shiny wind turbines and lush green fields flanking the stap line: “We’re the world’s No 1 wind energy company.”

Scottish Power's homepage - how the company likes to be seen

Scottish Power's web site homepage: how they'd like to be seen

Of course, until Scottish Power starts to phase out its dependency on coal, the reality is somewhat different – a bit more like this, in fact:

Scottish Power - still seriously dependent on coal

How Scottish Power's web site should look - still seriously dependent on coal

So come on Nick, stop playing fast and loose with your advertising and give us genuine commitment to a renewable future!

SANC is made up of people from all walks of life who are concerned about the blatant disregard which certain energy companies have for the climate. The UK government is currently considering a number of new coal-fired power stations across the UK – a policy which would be disastrous for the planet. Here in Scotland we plan to focus our efforts on Scottish Power who, as the biggest energy supplier in the country, should be focusing their efforts on taking advantage of Scotland’s massive renewable energy potential, not returning to dirty, outdated coal power simply because it is temporarily cheaper.

If you would like to help the campaign, please write to Nick Horler and tell him why coal is such a terrible idea for the climate. You can use the pro-forma letter below as a template, but please feel free to add your own thoughts and ideas:


Check out our ‘How to get involved‘ page for other ways to support the campaign.


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