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Extinction Rebellion Scotland members, including those from Lochaber, are backing the Protect the Mhoine campaign calling for international support in rejecting the Space Hub Sutherland planning application.
They say the Flow Country, as it is known and which is regarded by many as Scotland’s equivalent of the Amazon in terms of environmental importance in that it is Europe’s largest peat bog and carbon sink, is under serious threat from the spaceport development.
The Space Hub Sutherland project has now submitted its application to the Highland Council for the development of a rocket launch facility over 800 acres of the Flow Country, on the A’Mhòine Peninsula.
Kate Willis, who co-founded the Fort William area branch of Extinction Rebellion Highlands and Islands, told us: ‘The Scottish Government and Highland Council have declared a climate and ecological emergency. The development of the Mhoine spaceport, and the environmental impacts and carbon emissions resulting from its construction and regular launch of rockets, is contradictory to this declaration.
‘Investment must focus on development of a green low carbon economy and rewilding, particularly in sensitive areas such as the Flow Country.’
Fort William youth environmental activist and Lochaber High School student Holly Gillibrand added: ‘The idea that, in the midst of a climate and ecological emergency, a spaceport may be built on a rare ecosystem and a site of globally important carbon storage is ludicrous.
‘Politicians talk about restoring peatlands and protecting species, but when you’re in a hole, you don’t keep making it deeper; you stop digging. We need to stop making this even harder for ourselves.’