Stop Climate Chaos Scotland has written to Nicola Sturgeon asking her to call on Boris Johnson to reject all new oil and gas projects
A coalition of over 60 charities, unions and community groups has urged Nicola Sturgeon to explicitly condemn plans to drill an enormous new Cambo oilfield off the coast of Shetland.
On the eve of crucial Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) has written to the first minister asking her to call on Boris Johnson to reject the proposed Cambo oil field, and all new oil and gas projects, to avoid undermining Scotland and the UK’s climate credibility.
Cambo, west of Shetland, is the second largest undeveloped field on the UK continental shelf, containing 800 million barrels of oil.
Under the proposals, the first phase seeks to extract 170m barrels ‒ the climate equivalent of running 18 coal-fired power stations for a year ‒ and would continue until 2050, five years after Scotland is due to reach net-zero emissions. The second phase would continue beyond 2050, and aims for “full-field development”.
The decision on whether to develop the oil field will be taken at UK level, and the first minister has already called on Boris Johnson to “reassess” the plans in light of the climate emergency.
However, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) says that Nicola Sturgeon must come out against the Cambo plans to show “true leadership” on climate ahead of Cop26.
Charities who are members of SCCS spoke out.
Caroline Rance, climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:“The first minister has now acknowledged that unlimited drilling for oil and gas is incompatible with the climate crisis, and has said that the Scottish Government will end their support for drilling every last drop of oil and gas from the North Sea. The reality of the climate crisis is so devastating and the consequences of approving this field are so grave, that the first minister must now address the elephant in the room and strongly reject Cambo.
“Climate science is clear that there can be no new oil and gas projects. Instead, we need a managed phase-out from the North Sea in line with keeping global temperature rises to 1.5ºC, while scaling up renewables and ensuring a just transition for affected workers and communities.”
Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “Climate change is already wreaking havoc around the world and continuing to burn more and more fossil fuels will only result in more deaths, more poverty and more suffering.
“The fact that on the eve of Cop26 the prime minister is still weighing up whether or not to green light an enormous new oilfield at Cambo is utterly inconceivable, incompatible with
the government's stated climate ambitions and inconsistent with the need to inspire much faster global climate action.
“Now is the time for the first minister to send an unequivocal message to the prime minister on Cambo: not in our backyard, not on my watch and not in Scotland’s name.”
The letter comes just after the first minister said it would be “fundamentally wrong” for countries like Scotland to “keep exploring for and extracting oil and gas” and announced that the Scottish Government will no longer support unlimited extraction of fossil fuels.
The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.