Nicola Sturgeon “allowed big business to profit from dirty energy,” said activists who are facing the Scottish prime minister over his failure to stand up to the Cambo oil field in the North Sea.
Private capital-backed oil giants Shell and Sikar Point Energy are expected to receive final approval to go into production at the Cambo field shortly before the United Nations Cop26 conference in Glasgow, where about 200 countries have to comply with the measures. will be invited. To limit warming to 1.5C.
Environmental activists say that if given the green light, the site near Shetland could produce 255 million barrels of oil over its lifetime.
And he estimates that 132 million tons of CO2 emissions could be produced, which would require an area about 1.5 times the size of Scotland to counteract.
Ms Sturgeon was surrounded on Saturday by protesters from the Green New Deal Rising and Stop Cambo campaign at the Govanhill Carnival in her Glasgow Southside constituency.
Asked if she would oppose the oil sector, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘Look, I’m not going to live here – it’s not a problem for the Scottish government.
“We think about all these things, we try to make the right decisions. No doubt we should step back.
“So these are hard questions to ask whether things like this are proportionate and I totally understand that. There are things that are difficult for all of us to deal with and make decisions about.”
One of the activists told the prime minister that he was disappointed not to commit to opposing the oil sector.
Mrs Sturgeon replied, “You can have a politician who tells you what you want to hear, because you are here, or you can have a politician who says I hear what you say. , and I have a lot of sympathy with that, but as Prime Minister there are issues that I have to make sure to consider.
“And that’s what I choose to do.”
The Green New Deal Rising Group, a youth movement fighting to stop the climate crisis, tweeted: “Big business exploits dirty energy and politicians like Nicola Sturgeon let them get away with it. We’re going to end it.” are here for
Speaking after the incident, 20-year-old activist Lauren MacDonald, who challenged Ms Sturgeon, said: “We are hosting Cop26 in our hometown this year, but Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson have already made commitments. Not enough measures have been taken to do so.
“The Scottish government cannot see itself as a climate leader without opposing the Cambo oil field.
“How can we trust our governments to tackle the climate crisis when they repeatedly refuse to take meaningful action to mitigate its effects? “
She said she was “really terrified” for her future.
“It frustrates me so much that when I confront my country’s leader, she refuses to take action to protect the lives of her citizens,” Macdonald said.
“If we are to have any hope of mitigating the climate crisis and seeing a fairer society in Scotland, we need a just and urgent transition away from oil and gas. We need a new green deal now that will create good green jobs. provide.”
Boris Johnson has indicated he will not stop oil sector development.
When asked during a visit to a wind farm on the north-east coast of Scotland on Thursday if he would stop operating the area, the prime minister said: “It was a contract that … signed in 2001 Were gone and we can’t just break the contracts. There is a process to follow.
He said the move away from oil and gas needs to be done “as soon as possible”, but the shift to greener forms of electricity generation should be “smooth and sensible”.
The Conservative climate minister, Cop26 president Alok Sharma, also refused to condemn the Cambo oil field plans despite warnings that the world was “alarmingly close” to running out of time to avoid “catastrophic climate change”. .
He said inspector That leaders can’t wait “two years, five years, 10 years” to act, he said: “I don’t think we’re running out of time, but I think we’re getting dangerously close. Where we may be. Absent. Of time.”
However, the government has also refused to grant new licenses for North Sea oil and gas or a new coal mine in Cumbria.
The International Energy Agency said in May that there should be no new investment in oil and gas projects and coal-fired power plants from this year in hopes of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
But Mr Sharma refused to criticize the UK government’s plans to continue fossil fuel extraction.
” for coming [fossil fuel] The licensees have to respect the fact that we are committed in law to achieve zero net worth by 2050,” he said. “All licenses will have climate control. “
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘We are fully committed to becoming a net zero economy by 2045 and, although this is ultimately a reserve sector, the Scottish Government has no support for oil companies and gas companies operating in the North Sea. Also the support is conditional on their contribution. Ensuring a sustainable and inclusive energy transition, and a secure energy supply.
He added that the oil and gas sector can play a ‘positive role’ in Scotland’s energy transition, helping us design the diverse energy systems we need for the future.
The spokesperson added: “In 2020, we launched our £62 million Energy Transition Fund to support the growth and diversification of the oil, gas and energy sectors, accelerating its transition to net zero emissions.”
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