TO drive the ‘green transition’ and move us beyond fossil fuels at COP26, we have to address the industry lobbying at local, national and international level that has ensured oil and gas firms and utilities are holding back global climate ambition.

For decades the fossil fuel industry has succeeded in delaying, weakening, and sabotaging efforts to tackle the climate emergency and as long as it continues to maintain its access to decision-makers and the policy-making process, then it will use that access to obstruct real climate action.

The International Energy Agency’s recent 1.5C scenario clearly states there is no room for new fossil fuel investments, yet most of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies are ignoring this and plan to keep exploring for new oil and gas. The majority of coal, oil and gas reserves have to stay in the ground, yet vested economic interests are being placed before those of the planet.

We can no longer afford to let the fossil fuel industry undermine our democracy as we try and halt climate chaos, fix our energy system, and protect people and planet.

To tackle the climate emergency, and ensure that climate policy is conducted entirely in the public interest, we must cut fossil fuel interests out of politics, similar to existing restrictions on the tobacco industry. Before it’s too late.

Plans for a ‘hydrogen economy’ shows an over reliance on the fossil fuel sector and technologies that haven’t been developed yet to provide an emergency response to the climate crisis.

Blue hydrogen should not be developed or relied upon to decrease emissions due to its reliance on both fossil fuels and unproven Carbon Capture Storage technology.

Hydrogen is seen as a potential solution to decarbonise industrial sectors like steel and chemicals, which currently rely on fossil fuels and cannot easily switch to electricity. It is also seen as a long-term solution for shipping, aviation and heavy-duty road transport where electrification is not feasible at the moment.

However, hydrogen is not some magical cure that will make the climate crisis disappear. Over-emphasis on hydrogen could lock Scotland into decades of fossil fuels.

Hydrogen from renewable sources can play a role in decarbonisation and in promoting the greening of industries and the economy. However, any Hydrogen Strategy must not be allowed to become a greenwashing exercise used to subsidise obsolete gas pipelines. Funding hydrogen from fossil fuels is not sustainable and not in line with our climate commitments.

Scotland should be aiming for 100% domestic generation, not just consumption as per the current target, of renewable electricity by 2030.

The priority should be on increasing generation of renewable electricity, rather than directing renewable electricity to make hydrogen.

The renewable electricity generated must focus on directly meeting demand across homes, buildings, transport and heating with only surplus electricity used to make green hydrogen.

Glasgow’s Green Deal requires massive investment with incentives for a green economy and industry without coal, oil, gas and nuclear energy. Investments in renewable energies and a wave of renovation will create jobs, reduce fossil fuel emissions and help protect our planet.