Scrapping policy against new oil and gas would be “reckless in the extreme”

Scotland needs a just transition from oil and gas.

Moves to drop or dilute Scotland’s presumption against new oil and gas exploration would be “reckless in the extreme” and “rip up our social contract with future generations” say the Scottish Greens.

The party’s Co-leader, Lorna Slater, has called for the Scottish Government to “end the climate climbdown” and reaffirm it’s support for the presumption, which was included in the draft energy strategy published last year.

The presumption reflected long-standing Scottish Green policies and priorities. In media interviews this morning, the SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn implied it should be abandoned.

Speaking ahead of an event in Edinburgh, Ms Slater said: “When the Scottish Government agreed the presumption against new fossil fuel exploration it was a breakthrough moment. It made Scotland one of the first oil producing states in the world that was actively trying to address the huge damage that the industry is doing to our climate.

“We are in a climate emergency that is getting worse by the day. Any move away from that presumption would be reckless in the extreme. It would send a terrible message to the young people of today while pumping more pollution into the air and ripping up our social contact with future generations.

“It is clear that Stephen Flynn wants the policy to be diluted or dropped, but this is a choice for the First Minister. 

“John Swinney can end all of the speculation today by reaffirming his commitment to the position that he was happy to endorse as Deputy First Minister and driving our transition to a fairer, greener and better future.

“Scotland has an amazing abundance of renewable resources. Our focus must be on rapidly expanding green industries, investing in our workers and communities and supporting a just transition away from oil and gas.”

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