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Oil field row

Sturgeon: ‘Cambo should not be given green light’

Nicola Sturgeon speaking before the COP26 summit

Nicola Sturgeon said COP26 had renewed her sense of responsibility

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reopened the controversy surrounding further drilling for oil and gas by declaring she does not think the Cambo oil field should be given the green light.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that the COP26 summit had left her with a “renewed sense of responsibility to go further and faster” in tackling climate change. She said Scotland could only “speak with credibility” on the issue if it meets its own net zero targets.

She responded to a question from Labour’s Monica Lennon by restating her opposition to the proposed Cambo oil field west of Shetland, but stressed that it was not her decision as authority for approving oil and gas permits is reserved to the UK Government.

It was her clearest statement on the issue, having previously only called on Boris Johnson to “reassess” the application from Shell and Siccar Point Energy for the oil field.

Monica Lennon called on Ms Sturgeon to oppose the Cambo oil field plans in the “strongest possible terms” and provide the “political leadership that has been lacking”.

Ms Sturgeon responded: “I don’t think we can go on extracting new oil and gas forever and I don’t think we can continue to give the go ahead to new oil fields, so I don’t think that Cambo should get the green light.

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“I think the presumption would be that Cambo couldn’t and shouldn’t pass any rigorous climate assessment.”

UK Oil and Gas said halting domestic production would do nothing to halt demand. It argues that turning off the taps would leave the UK requiring imports to meet its energy needs.

Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said the Scottish government had missed its renewables target and its own legal emissions targets for the last three years.

“Setting ambitious targets is great, but what the planet needs is action, so can the First Minister explain how her government will deliver a lasting legacy for COP26 by finally meeting their own targets?” he asked.

Ms Sturgeon replied: “In terms of our own targets, Scotland is a world leader, but the bar of world leadership is too low. [A total of] 97% of our net electricity consumption is from renewable sources.

“We now need to replicate that in terms of heat, transport and agriculture.

“We have missed marginally the last three years’ annual target. That’s why we’ve published a catch-up plan, but again let’s put this into context. Scotland has decarbonised faster than any G20 country and we’re already halfway to net zero.”



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