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Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage

Volume 737: debated on Wednesday 13 September 2023

5. What recent discussions he has held with Cabinet colleagues on supporting the development of carbon capture, utilisation and storage in Scotland. (906282)

Carbon capture, utilisation and storage will be essential to meeting the UK’s 2050 net zero target, playing a vital role in levelling up the economy, supporting the low-carbon economic transformation of our industrial regions and creating new high-value jobs across the United Kingdom. In Scotland, the Acorn cluster has been allocated more than £40 million in development funding by the Government and has been selected, subject to final due diligence, for track 2 CCUS cluster sequencing.

According to Office for Budget Responsibility and UK Government projections, the UK will see between £50 billion and £80 billion in revenue from North sea oil and gas over the next five years. While it is welcome that the Acorn project can now bid for funding, it is important to know that not a penny has been committed. Can the Minister tell me what discussions the Secretary of State has had with Government colleagues to secure at minimum a share of those revenues—say £1 billion over five years—to rapidly accelerate Scotland’s carbon capture industry? If not, does that mean he is content to see Scotland’s people stripped of their vast natural resources without a single penny of that £80 billion being invested in Scotland’s carbon capture ambitions?

I am not sure whether the hon. Gentleman actually listened to my first answer, but more than £40 million has been allocated by the United Kingdom Government to the development of this technology. The Government will commence engagement and assessment of delivery plans and due diligence on the Acorn and Viking transportation and storage systems and will engage with them directly in respect of the next steps to develop those. We will set out the process by which capture products in track 2 will be selected to meet the stated ambitions in due course.