Ruskell concerned as oil & gas industry has no Plan B to deal with climate

Scottish Greens Energy spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP today (20 Nov) voiced concerns that the leadership of the oil and gas industry in Scotland has no “Plan B” to deal with the reality of tackling climate change.

At today’s meeting of Holyrood’s Environment committee, taking evidence on the proposed Climate Change Bill, Mr Ruskell highlighted the submission from industry body Oil & Gas UK which fails to acknowledge the global trend of ending fossil fuel exploration and banning the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles. 

Despite the recent warning from UN climate scientists that we only have twelve years left to prevent catastrophic breakdown of the climate,

Oil & Gas UK state that “there is…an environmental advantage…in favour of maximising the proportion of UK needs that come from our own resources” and “any further government which tightened emissions targets before technology options are clearer risks damaging a sector of the utmost importance to the Scottish Economy.”

Mark Ruskell pointed to international examples of economies shifting away from fossil fuels and asked Oil & Gas UK what its Plan B is but its Energy Policy Manager instead maintained that the sector “needs investment” and that “transition is difficult”.

Mark Ruskell, Energy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said:

“The evidence is clear that there are more jobs – lasting jobs - to be had in viable, sustainable industries such as decommissioning, renewables and energy efficient housing. Just look at last week’s announcement of 1,000 jobs at Longannet in high speed train manufacturing where previously we burnt coal.

“It’s astonishing that despite the opportunities, and despite the growing warnings from climate scientists, the oil and gas industry leadership has no Plan B. Its bullishness, ignoring the direction of travel, puts workers’ livelihoods on the line and a swathe of our economy at risk.

“Smart businesses are heeding warnings of stranded assets, and are diversifying, making the shift to be climate-neutral to safeguard their future. Greens will continue to press government to support that shift, so we have stability in our economy. Business as usual is the height of irresponsibility.”