New oil and gas licences would pave the way to climate breakdown

New oil and gas exploration licences would be devastating for our environment.

Granting new oil and gas exploration licences in the North Sea would effectively pave the way to climate breakdown, say the Scottish Greens.

The party’s environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP said there was clear scientific proof fossil fuels must be left in the ground.

He said:

“With the world burning around us, it is mind boggling that anyone with any concern for our environment would be calling for even more fossil fuel exploration. 

“It would undermine the vital work that needs to be done to decarbonise our economy, and would pave the way for climate breakdown.

“The decline in fossil fuels is mapped out and irrefutable – our choice now is whether we accept a slow withering of skills and expertise, or we grasp the opportunity and ensure we maximise the expansion of jobs in renewables and supporting sectors."

He added:

“The power over our future still lies in the hands of the UK Government, who retain control of licensing and who would prefer to sell out the North East’s chance of a stable transition to maximise short-term shareholder profiteering.

“Our society lies at a critical juncture. Less than two years ago we all united over COP26 in Glasgow and committed to keeping 1.5 alive. 

“So it is beyond frustrating today to see the lack of unity in this chamber when discussing the unequivocal scientific evidence showing we must leave North Sea oil and gas in the ground. 

“The time for political grandstanding is over. The time for urgent climate action is now. 

“There is no credible future in oil and gas, and it is our duty as politicians to map out the alternative. The Scottish Greens will be taking that duty seriously.”

His comments came as MSPs debated oil and gas in the Scottish Parliament.