Scottish energy minister concerned by decision to scrap Decc

The Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse has called for urgent talks with the UK Government following the Teresa May’s decision to axe Whitehall’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc). The Scottish government said the decision has “led to concerns about the Prime Minister’s commitment to tackling climate change and support for renewable energy”.

The first minister Nicola Sturgeon raised the issue directly with the new prime minister when they met in Edinburgh on Friday, the Scottish government said.

Wheelhouse said: “We are looking forward to working with Greg Clark, the UK’s new energy secretary, who has often championed the benefits of a low-carbon economy. Mr Clark now has the opportunity to implement his vision by working with us to build on the remarkable progress already made in Scotland.

“But we’ll also be seeking assurances that the UK Government will back our efforts to create jobs and maximise benefits from the renewable energy sector, secure electricity supplies for everyone in these islands, and cut carbon emissions.”

He added: “In addition to raising concerns about the UK Government’s climate change ambitions, the move to scrap DECC has also raised questions about what it means in terms of Westminster’s attitude to the North Sea oil and gas industry.

“The sector is attempting to recover from one of its most difficult ever periods, and needs assurances that the UK Government is serious about doing all that it can to support the industry and the jobs it supports.

The Scottish Government will continue to operate a single Energy and Climate Change Directorate. Ministers want to secure UK Government support for pumped storage hydro schemes, onshore and offshore wind, as well as inter-connectors between Scotland’s island communities.

More expert coverage:

Editor’s blog: Is climate change too important to keep in a silo?

Decc scrapped in favour of Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in May’s cabinet overhaul

Editor’s blog: Who has responsibility for reacting to climate change?

MPs to investigate Brexit’s impact on climate change policy

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