Campaigners ‘first foot’ First Minister

Campaigners ‘first foot’ First Minister

Date: 16 February 2010

Anti-coal campaigners prepare to first foot the First Minister with 42% ‘2020’ whisky and hundreds of postcards demanding no new coalpower stations.

Applying a fresh slant to the traditional first footing gifts,
anti-coal campaigners presented the First Minister with the
traditional bread and whisky but have replaced the lump of coal with a
box of postcards from Scots across the country urging the Government
to rule out new coal power stations in Scotland.

Research commissioned earlier in the year by WDM Scotland and Friends
of the Earth Scotland showed that homes can be heated and appliances
powered now and in the future without the need for dirty coal-fired
power stations, which are major contributers to greenhouse gas

The research, ‘The Power of Scotland Renewed’, shows that Scotland can
meet up to 143% of predicted electricity demand with renewables alone
by 2020. Equally, in its world leading Climate Change Act, the
Scottish Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions
by 42% by 2020; a target which would be seriously jeopardised by new
coal-fired power stations.

Juliet Swann, Head of Campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland said:
“The highlight of the year for us was the passing of the Scottish
Climate Change Act.

“We are first footing the First Minister with pleas for a coal free
future rather than with a lump of coal because we think it would be
amazing if 2010 started with a commitment by the Scottish Government
to move away from dirty coal and refuse plans to build any new coal
power stations which don’t feature fully operational carbon capture
and storage from the outset.”

Liz Murray, Head of Campaigns in Scotland for the World Development
Movement, added: “The huge public demonstrations in Glasgow, London
and Copenhagen in December show that people care about climate change,
and believe that industrialised countries are responsible for the fate
of many nations in the global South who are suffering its impacts
right now.

“One clear way to ensure that we reduce our emissions and begin to pay
our climate debt to the world’s poorest people would be for the
Scottish Government to say a firm ‘No’ to new coal and to 
on clean technology.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
T: 0131 243 2715

Notes to editors
2020 whisky is a unique blended Scotch whisky has been created
especially for Stop Climate Chaos Scotland to mark the Copenhagen
climate negotiations. It is a wonderful blend of old malt and grain
whiskies aged in oak casks for more than 19 years.
The bottle is made in Scotland from glass containing 92% post consumer
recyclate. The label was printed in Scotland on paper formed from 100%
recycled material. The cork stopped came from Portugal, and is made
entirely from sustainable and renewable resources.
The 42% alchohol content was determined by Scotland’s world leading
2020 emissions reduction targets. First Minister Alex Salmond has
offered state leaders a bottle if they deliver comparably bold

The Power of Scotland report shows that it is possible to have a
clean, green energy supply in Scotland. By 2030 renewable energy can
meet between 60% and 143% of Scotland’s projected annual electricity
demand, depending of the level of investment in energy saving and new
renewables. The analysis also demonstrates that it is entirely
plausible that no large-scale fossil fired generating capacity would
remain online by 2030.

Friends of the Earth Scotland is the country’s leading independent
environmental campaigning organisation, and is the only organisation
in Scotland that is working for environmental justice, campaigning for
the planet and its people.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is a coalition of around 60
organisations in Scotland that are campaigning on climate change.
Together we represent over two million people in Scotland, an amazing
40% of the population.