First Minister challenged to reject new all oil and gas drilling

There is no safe amount of new oil and gas drilling.


Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater has again challenged the First Minister to drop the SNP’s increasingly obvious support for new oil and gas licences in favour of ramping up action on tackling the climate crisis.

In recent days John Swinney suggested such developments would be okay with the SNP as they would have to go through ‘climate compatibility’ tests, echoing statements by their Westminster leader Stephen Flynn.

But Ms Slater said the SNP must instead align with global experts who say there are simply no grounds for new drilling on any basis. 

Speaking at First Minister's Questions today, she said: “As clean energy expands and fossil fuel demand declines, there is no need for investment in new coal, oil and natural gas”

“That’s a quote, not from the Scottish Green Party manifesto, but from the International Energy Agency.

“This week, the Scottish Government continues to equivocate on new licences for oil and gas. The First Minister’s latest position is that the SNP are okay with new oil and gas, if it passes a climate compatibility assessment.

“Can I ask the First Minister, how he thinks any climate compatibility assessment will say it is OK to drill for new oil when global experts in the energy industry say it is not?"

After the First Minister failed to make any sensible argument for his increasingly pro oil and gas position, Ms Slater followed by urging the SNP to “get off the fence” and join the Scottish Greens in backing climate experts and campaigners.

She said: “Our position on the energy transition needs to be evidence based. That evidence doesn’t change on a case by case basis.

“The Scottish Government’s position is like a 40 a day smoker being told by the doctor ‘stop smoking, you’re killing yourself’, and the smoker replying ‘I’ll treat each cigarette on a case by case basis’.

“This position is not only threatening our environment, it’s putting off investment in the green jobs of the future which our communities so desperately need.

“When will the SNP get off the fence, get behind the science on this, and admit that Scotland’s future relies on green energy and on Scotland’s oil staying in the ground?"