Westminster has just voted in favour of awarding new oil and gas licences every year

The Tory Government's new Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill is a dark day for global net zero targets, warns Mark Ruskell MSP, who is arguing for an accelerated move to renewables

MPs at Westminster have tonight voted to support the UK Government's move to award new drilling licensing for oil and gas in the North Sea - as part of a yearly round of licences.

That is a disaster for our net zero targets and proves the environment is not safe in Tory hands. The controversial bid now goes to what is called a third reading. 

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Responding to Westminster’s vote to support the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill tonight, our climate spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP said: “This is an utterly reckless decision and a dark day for our environment. We need to end new oil and gas licensing for good, not make it an annual event.

“We cannot build a sustainable future by drilling even more of our north sea. We need urgent major investment in renewable industries and clean technology that will make a big difference, not endless support for the polluting sectors that are destroying our climate.

“How can anyone look at the record temperatures around the world and the climate chaos we have experienced over the last few months and think that this polluter’s charter is the way forward? 

“Our environment is not safe in Westminster’s hands.

"The Tories have treated our climate as another weapon in their culture war. They know the consequences of approving climate wrecking oil fields like Rosebank but are carrying on regardless in their final few months in government.

“The fact that a former Tory Energy Minister has resigned and a former Tory President of COP has condemned this reckless move shows how desperate things have become. They are right to do so, along with the other Tories who voted against it. 

“If we are to have any kind of sustainable future then we need to break away from the Tories and the policies that are doing so much damage to the world around us.”


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