No Leith Biomass Plant

Scottish Parliamentary Candidates support the No Leith Biomass campaign

In the run up to the Holyrood elections we have been surveying the candidates’ views on the Biomass proposals.

With the results now in we are delighted to report that all the candidates who completed the survey backed our campaign and joined us in rejecting Forth Energy’s proposals, demonstrating clear cross-party condemnation of the plans.

It is heartening to find that all the candidates are now conversant with the many arguments against large scale biomass, and the huge scale of the objections lodged against these proposals. It is clear that this understanding has helped the candidates to see through Forth Energy’s greenwash - they overwhelmingly reject the notion that importing and burning millions of tons of biomass from across the world can be described as ‘green energy’ and share our scepticism over Forth Energy’s claims for heat distribution.

Voters in Edinburgh and Leith will be reassured that the candidates share our concerns that the government must carefully consider the wider impact of these proposals on the economy and that further, independent research must be commissioned to establish the true impact on public health.

What can I do? Click the blue button to sign the 2012 Petition, to persuade MSPs to oppose subsidising big biomass in Scotand

Labour candidate Malcolm Chisholm commented:

“I am persuaded that large scale biomass is a bad idea and that, even if the Government is not sure about that, it should impose a moratorium until further research has been done.”

The SNP candidate Shirley-Anne Somerville agreed the proposals did not meet with current government policy saying:

“I have supported the very well organised local campaign to stop the plant right from the outset and will continue to do everything I can to ensure this application does not go ahead. The SNP is the only party with a consistent and coherent policy on biomass both locally and nationally and I’m pleased that the SNP’s manifesto shares the Leith’s public concerns about large scale biomass.”

Fellow SNP candidates Kenny MacAskill and Marco Biagi also condemned the proposals, whilst regional list SNP candidate Calum Cashley stated:

“The Leith biomass proposal seems to me to run counter to what we would hope biomass developments would deliver. It appears to be more about profits than anything else and ignores the community's needs.”

Dan Farthing of the Lib Dems agreed, saying:

“Biomass is a technology that has a role to play in Scotland's energy mix but the proposed plant in Leith is far too large. Leith's future depends on successfully blending residential, commercial, leisure and industrial development. A large biomass plant simply cannot be part of that future. Local views must be respected and the application rejected.” This was a view repeated by independent candidate Margo Macdonald who said: “I have listened very carefully to those who have argued both for and against this plant and whilst I am in no way an expert on this type of energy production I do believe that the size and scale of this proposed plant is wrong for this site in Leith.”

Green party concerns were raised by candidate Maggie Chapman who said:

“I submitted an objection to the proposed Biomass plant in Leith to the Minister in March, highlighting concerns about location, visual impact, air quality, traffic congestion and marine biodiversity. Also important, as your survey mentions, are issues of sustainability and fuel security and the market for district heat, as well as the broader issues of the sustainability of such a large plant. I hope the application is rejected outright.”

Conservative candidate Iain McGill highlighted the lack of support for the proposals:

“It has united people across the city, and across political divides as being clearly inappropriate - having spoken with literally thousands of Edinburgh residents over the last couple of years I have yet to find a single supporter of the idea.”

1. Do you support Forth Energy's proposal to build a huge power station in Leith?

Survey Candidates Q1

2. Do you agree with Forth Energy that importing and burning timber from across

  the world (total of 5.3 million tonnes/year for the 4 proposed biomass plants) is
  'green' energy?

Survey Candidates Q2

3. Are you conversant with the many arguments against large scale biomass, and the

  huge scale of the objections lodged by members of the local communities,
  environmental groups, etc?

Survey Candidates Q3

4. Do you agree with the current Scottish government policy which favours small scale

  use of Biomass to generate both electricity and heat (CHP) for the local community?

Survey Candidates Q4

6. Do you agree that subsidies should only go to truly renewable technologies –

  potentially including small scale genuinely CHP biomass installations?

Survey Candidates Q6

7. Do you agree that further, independent research must be commissioned by Scottish

  Ministers in order to establish the true impact on public health before any consents
  can be granted?

Survey Candidates Q7

8. Do you agree that the Government must carefully consider the wider impact of the

  proposed biomass plant on the population and the economy of Leith and Edinburgh
  before taking a decision?