We aim to develop Energy Independence for Scotland, and to lower consumption of, and dependence upon, fossil fuels. To that end, we advocate a Sustainable Energy for National Self-Reliance Programme.
Some political parties are making grand claims about renewable energy targets. Presently the UK supplies only about 3% of its electricity from renewable resources. Some parties are talking about 40% of Scottish electricity coming from renewable resources within 12 years. It is unlikely that we can go from here to there in the time schedule suggested without:
- Serious Investment in Research and Development. Presently, there is a concentration on Wind Power at the expense of Wave Power, Hydrogen Cells and BioFuels - and Solar Power which can still be effective, even in Scotland!
We acknowledge that there are environmental and quality of life issues associated with wind farms, which must be taken into account. At all times, the wishes of the local community should be paramount. It should be noted, however, that the technology exists to position wind farms up to 20 miles offshore.
Recycling: A Zero Waste Strategy
We advocate the Zero Waste Principle which states: Everything we buy is made from materials which can be re-used, re-paired or re-cycled, and in those cases where they cannot, the products should be re-designed to fit the system.
Scotland lags behind other European nations. 90% of the 3m tonnes of household and commercial waste collected by Scottish councils last year went into landfills. Only 7.4% was recycled, despite 60% (1.8 million tonnes) of all the waste being biodegradable. This was a slight improvement on the previous year, when only 6% was reused. But the figures were small compared to other countries like Switzerland which recycles 52% of its waste, the Netherlands 45% and the US 31%.
We believe that people should be encouraged to re-cycle.
The guiding principles are: Recycling should be voluntary and practical. There should be no legal coercion or punishment involved.
We advocate that every Council in Scotland adopt a Zero Waste strategy. We want to see 25% of household and commercial waste in Scotland being recycled by the next election in 2007. To achieve this we must:
- Roll out a Waste Recycling and Composting Initiative. Commercial food premises and hotels, especially, should be able to dispose of their waste in special composting bins. To that end, legislation which prohibits the use of such compost because of an unproven risk of "disease" should be challenged.