Scottish Government must keep opposition to new oil and gas

We must leave fossil fuels in the ground.

The Scottish Government’s energy strategy must retain a presumption against new oil and gas exploration if we are to build a sustainable future, say the Scottish Greens. 

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, the party’s co-leader Lorna Slater stressed that preventing climate breakdown means “leaving new oil and gas in the ground.”

The draft plan, published in 2023, reflected long-standing and badly needed Scottish Green policies for an end to new oil and gas drilling and coal and a just transition to clean renewable energy as a core part of Scotland’s efforts to reach net zero.

Speaking in the chamber, Ms Slater said: “The Scottish Greens welcome the commitment yesterday from the First Minister to prioritise the climate emergency. All the evidence is clear, preventing climate breakdown means leaving new oil and gas in the ground.

“As part of the government, the Scottish Greens worked hard to ensure the draft energy strategy contained a landmark presumption against new oil and gas exploration. This is consistent with the science.

“That position has been thrown into doubt this week by the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, who branded proposals for no new oil and gas, during a climate emergency, as ‘too extreme.’

“When will the Scottish Government publish the now long overdue final energy strategy? Can the First Minister commit to ensuring Parliament will have time to scrutinise this before recess, and will it still contain the presumption against new oil and gas which was consulted on?”

Ms Slater went on to say that it is only the Scottish Greens who are showing climate leadership and giving the clear and urgent commitments that are needed.

Ms Slater said: “New oil and gas exploration will not guarantee us energy security. There is no security for homeowners when the cost of heating their home is still tied to volatile gas markets. There is no security for oil and gas workers trapped in a declining industry. And there is no security for communities who need a just transition instead of arguments about how many drops of oil we can still squeeze out.

“Isn't it clear that with Labour dumping their green investment plans and pledging to keep every Tory oil and gas licence in place, and the SNP back to their old habit of trying to face both ways on the fossil fuel industry, it's only the Scottish Greens who are giving a clear and urgent response on the climate emergency?”

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