Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to take a tougher stance on phasing out oil and gas by signing a new global alliance that calls for an end date for oil drilling.
Scotland’s prime minister noted earlier this week that her government is tightening its position on oil and gas production by confirming that it does not believe the new Cambo oil field off Shetland should be licensed.
After months of pressure to take a more radical position on oil extraction, Sturgeon also confirmed that his government could join a new coalition of oil and gas producing countries that has pledged to phase out oil and gas.
She said Scotland could join the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance but as a “friend”, the lowest level of support in the group, rather than as a full or associate member. That level does not commit signatories to setting an end date for oil production.
Sturgeon said he had to act slowly to ensure a “just transition” to renewables for the 100,000 people estimated to depend on Scotland’s oil and gas industry.
“I don’t think we can keep extracting new oil and gas forever. That is why we have moved away from the policy of maximum economic recovery, and I do not believe that we can continue to give the green light to new oil fields, that is why I do not think that Cambo should have the green light, “he said. MSP.
Sturgeon faces competitive pressures on climate policies: Her rejection of Cambo has drawn strong criticism within the Scottish National Party, but her Scottish Green Party allies in government are pressuring her to take a more radical stance.
Mary Church, a senior climate activist for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said essential oil producing nations were committed to an end date, in part because it would give industry and affected communities a clear date to plan.
She said Scotland had an obligation to show leadership, given its importance as an oil-producing country.
“The signing of the alliance at the highest level would be a clear indication of this new direction of travel necessary for the Scottish government’s energy policy, and an important next step after Cop26,” said Church.
Not to do so would be to not follow through with your government’s recent change of position to stop supporting the unlimited extraction of oil and gas. When you are in a hole, you have to stop digging. To reach the 1.5 ° C target, we must keep all fossil fuels in the ground safe. “
The alliance was established by Denmark and Costa Rica and has France, Ireland, Greenland and Wales, a UK delegate nation with fewer powers than Scotland, among its eight full members.
That upper tier commits its members to end all new oil production licenses and leases and to set an end date for oil production consistent with the Paris climate accord’s quest to limit global warming to well below. 2 ° C.
Ireland, an ally of Sturgeon’s decentralized government, relies on its own gas fields for 60% of its national supplies. However, in February, the Irish cabinet, which includes ministers from the Green Party, announced a ban on all new hydrocarbon exploration in Irish waters to force the country to focus on renewable energy and reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.
Denmark, a small country with a population similar to Scotland that has 55 oil and gas platforms in the North Sea, announced in December 2020 that it would no longer license new fields in the North Sea.
California, Portugal and New Zealand are listed as second-tier partners as states that have “taken significant concrete steps” to reduce oil production, by eliminating domestic subsidies or by ending financial support for production abroad.
The “friend” level commits its signatories to supporting a “socially just and equitable global transition” and the less onerous goals of “alignment” with the Paris agreement and a member’s climate neutrality goals. So far only Italy has joined as a friend.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism