MPs must reject reckless ‘polluter’s charter’

The Offshore Petroleum Licensing bill is a threat to our climate.

The UK government’s Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill is a polluter’s charter that would lead to decades of environmental destruction, say the Scottish Greens ahead of today’s Westminster vote. 

The Party’s co-leader, Lorna Slater, has urged MPs to reject the climate-wrecking proposals, which would guarantee annual oil and gas licensing rounds in the North Sea.

The bill has been condemned by former COP26 President and Tory MP Alok Sharma, as well as the former Tory energy minister and net zero tsar Chris Skidmore, who resigned in opposition. 

Analysis from Global Witness shows that 80% of North Sea oil is exported rather than being used domestically.

Ms Slater said: “It is only a matter of weeks since the UK government joined with others at COP to call for a global shift away from fossil fuels. Now they are calling for even more of our North Sea to be sold off to fossil fuel giants.

“This bill is a polluter’s charter that would lead to decades of environmental destruction and do nothing for our energy security. It is utterly reckless and flies in the face of our climate commitments. It is telling that not even a single Scottish Tory MP has taken a stand against it.

“We don’t have time to waste. With the climate in chaos around the world, we urgently need to be investing in green technology and the industries of the future, not doubling down on oil and gas.

“Scotland has thousands of skilled workers and resources that any country would envy. We need to be using them. 

“I worked in the renewables sector for years, I have seen the difference that can be made by governments that understand why it is important and give it the support it needs.

“In Scotland, we are making important progress, but it is being totally undermined by a Westminster government with its head in the past.

“Any MP that wants to leave any kind of positive environmental legacy must vote against this reckless and damaging bill.”