THE SNP has criticised the UK Government for continuing to "sit on its hands" and refusing to commit to delivering ring-fenced investment for tidal stream energy to combat climate change and achieve net-zero emissions.

At Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) Questions in the House of Commons, SNP MP Stephen Flynn highlighted that the industry holds a solid base in Scotland but requires £71 million of UK Government funding in order for the sector to flourish and succeed.

The MP warned that some countries have already taken steps to invest in the industry and that Scotland and the UK risk losing out unless the UK Government heeds industry calls and brings forward meaningful financial support to back the industry.

Commenting, the SNP's Shadow Beis spokesperson Stephen Flynn MP, said: "With the COP26 summit having concluded, it is now critical that the UK Government steps up to the challenge and takes the action needed to tackle climate change.

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"One such step the UK Government can, and must, take is supporting our tidal industry and to help unlock the sector so it can achieve its full potential and play a crucial role in combating climate change and achieving net-zero emissions.

"Tidal is a world-leading industry based in Scotland. It has the capacity to provide 11% of the entire UK's electricity, but it needs UK Government investment in order to unleash its full potential.

"The industry in Scotland has asked for just £71m in ring-fenced funding from the UK Government so it can achieve that.

"Countries including Canada and France have already put in place financial mechanisms to capitalise upon tidal energy.

"The grim reality is that if the UK government continues to sit on its hands and refuse to deliver the funding, the sector could be lost to other countries who are willing to invest - as happened with the UK’s wind industry in the 80s and 90s."

The UK Government has been contacted for comment.