RSPB Scotland criticises today’s announcement on offshore wind

Kirsty Nutt

Monday 17 January 2022

Puffin Fratercula artica in flight carrying sand eels

RSPB Scotland criticises today’s announcement on offshore wind saying it could be a disaster for Scotland’s seabirds

In response to today’s announcement on ScotWind offshore leases, RSPB Scotland has issued the following statement:

Aedan Smith, Head of Policy and Advocacy for RSPB Scotland, said: “Today’s announcement from the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that huge new offshore windfarms have been granted leases by the Scottish Government shows the welcome scale of interest in developing in Scotland’s waters to address climate change, which is one of the greatest threats to wildlife and people. However, without major action from the Scottish Government, the scale of these new windfarms could cause greater harm to Scotland’s internationally important seabirds than the effects of climate change they are seeking to address and could also accelerate some seabird species towards extinction in Scotland.

 “Offshore wind has an important role to play in helping halt climate change.  However, the offshore wind projects already consented in Scotland are predicted to kill hundreds of seabirds like kittiwakes, gannets and puffins every year. The potential projects announced today would be many times bigger than those existing projects and would greatly increase those impacts. 

“The First Minister has been clear that the biodiversity crisis is as important as the challenge on climate change and, as on climate change, she wants Scotland to be leading the way on protecting and restoring nature. This ambition to address the climate and nature emergency together matches RSPB Scotland’s aspirations, but if measures to address climate change fail to take account of potentially disastrous outcomes for biodiversity, then questions need to be asked. We will be seeking a meeting with the First Minister as soon as possible to get reassurance that today’s announcement on offshore wind will see Scotland leading the way on protecting and restoring Scotland’s seas for seabirds as well as delivering much-needed offshore wind.”

Ends

For further information, or to arrange an interview please contact:

Kirsty Nutt, Communications Manager on 07711 385595 or kirsty.nutt@rspb.org.uk.

Or Aedan Smith, on 07481 140463 or aedan.smith@rspb.org.uk.

Tagged with: Country: Scotland Topic: Birds Topic: Conservation Topic: Birds and wildlife Topic: Climate change Topic: Green issues Topic: Planning and economics