Drilling for more oil and gas threatens future of humanity

More oil and gas exploration would be catastrophic for our climate.

The Scottish Greens have fired a stark warning to both the SNP and an incoming Labour UK Government that allowing new licences to drill for more oil and gas threatens the future of humanity. 

They have called for the Scottish Government to double down on a managed transition of offshore jobs to green industries to protect 30,000 employees and criticised the fossil fuel companies for their “long track record” of cover ups, conspiracy theories and lobbying against climate action.

For a debate about the oil and gas industry by the Tory Party, at a time when the SNP Government is reported to be preparing to row back on its previous commitments on a presumption against new licences, the Scottish Greens lodged an amendment that made it clear that there can be no business as usual.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “The last thing our climate needs is new oil and gas drilling. It would be an environmental catastrophe in the making.

“While the SNP U-turns, and the Tories give tax breaks to polluters, Labour is showing utter confusion about its own plans. 

“There have been at least three different, conflicting explanations about what GB Energy is supposed to be, this week alone, leading industry experts to express frustration at the confusion. 

“The one thing we know for sure is that it will lack the scale of investment needed, after Labour scrapped their £28bn green investment plan which their MSPs described as essential, just a few months ago. 

“It is clear there is only one party standing up for the climate, and that is the Scottish Greens, so if people want a greener future they need to vote like our future depends on it, and elect Green voices to Westminster.”

Text of Patrick Harvie’s amendment

That the Parliament recognises the contribution that oil and gas has made to Scotland’s economy and the contribution it has made to the greenhouse gas emissions which threaten the future of humanity and much of the living world around us; 

Accepts the reality that the North Sea is a declining basin, that most of its production is for export and does not contribute to energy security, and that the world already has far more fossil fuel in existing reserves than it can afford to use in any scenario consistent with the Paris Agreement; 

Notes that the industry supports an estimated 30,000 direct jobs and that these skilled workers need a managed transition to green industries that is both just, and fast; 

Notes the long track record of the fossil fuel industry in first covering up climate science, then promoting climate denial conspiracy theories, before shifting to their current strategy of lobbying for slower climate action; 

Notes with concern reports that the Scottish Government is considering ending its presumption against new oil and gas licences; 

Condemns the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill, which would reward the fossil fuel industry and do nothing to reduce the UK’s dependence on it; 

And notes with concern the extremist positions taken by some fossil fuel apologists who are opposed to the very existence of a liveable world, and condemns their actions, which are irresponsible, damaging and disruptive.

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