Green MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato, has called for oil drilling off the Dorset coast to be ditched and a large off shore wind farm to be resurrected. The call comes as the government announces plans for 30% of all UK electricity to be generated by off-shore wind by 2030  and controversy continues over drilling for oil in Poole Bay , which has been linked to a spate of washed up marine mammals on beaches in Bournemouth .
Two years ago the government decided to block the Navitus Bay wind farm off the coast of Bournemouth  which would have generated enough electricity to power 700,000 homes. Recently, test drilling off the Dorset coast has revealed millions of barrels of oil. The MEP says with the government showing a new commitment to off-shore wind, and with the planet facing a ‘climate emergency’ now is the time to ditch oil in favour of wind.
Molly Scott Cato said:
“Perhaps the government is finally waking up to the huge potential for off-shore wind power, having spent years undermining it. The South West has enormous potential to contribute towards the 30% target. Resurrecting the Navitus Bay scheme, which could generate enough electricity for 700,000 homes, would be a good starting point. It must also coincide with an immediate end to oil extraction in Dorset. The current test drilling in Poole Bay and associated chemical discharges are clearly a serious threat to this important wildlife habitat.
“And herein lies the deep contradictions shown by this government. While implying it wants an off-shore wind revolution, it continues to throw more subsidies at fossil fuels than any other EU country . It also continues to licence damaging drilling and support a whole new fossil industry by pushing fracking.
“We must leave all further fossil fuel resources untapped and underground if we are serious about reducing carbon emissions quickly enough to avert climate breakdown. This means plans to drill for oil off the Dorset coast must be stopped immediately.
“It is hugely encouraging to see South West local authorities from Cornwall, through to Bristol and Stroud declare a climate emergency. The UK government must now follow suit and declare a national emergency. This would mean curtains for the fossil fuel era; an end to fossil fuel subsidies; calling time on fracking and refusing any further permits to drill for oil.”