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Scottish Government ends their support for unlimited oil and gas drilling

Today First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the Scottish Government will end their support of unlimited oil and gas drilling in Scotland.

In a speech at Strathclyde University, the First Minister spoke to the hopes of climate campaigners across the country, stating that “unlimited extraction of fossil fuels, or maximum economic recovery in UK policy terms, is not consistent with our climate obligations”, a statement that was later echoed in a Scottish Government press release confirming that “the Scottish Government will no longer support unlimited recovery of hydrocarbons including oil and gas”.

The Alliance welcomes this commitment from the Scottish Government ahead of COP26 in Glasgow next week, reflecting one of the key asks from our ‘2021-2026 Policy Priorities‘ flagship report that petitions the government to ensure that the action that is taken nationally to reduce Scotland’s GHG emissions is proportionate to Scotland’s share of historical emissions.

We are hopeful that this reflects a step in the right direction from the Scottish Government and that momentum continues to grow if the government is held to account by climate campaigners and organisations.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Climate and Energy Campaigner Caroline Rance said:

“This is a really significant shift from the Scottish Government to end their years of support for drilling every last drop of oil and gas. The First Minister said that Scotland must lead with actions not words, so this welcome change of heart must be followed with a change of policy that can truly take Scotland beyond oil and gas.

“The UK Government must follow Scotland’s lead and now also use the moment of COP26 to end their legal backing for unlimited oil and gas extraction and its climate-wrecking consequences.

“Today’s statement is an important first step, but climate science is clear that to limit dangerous warming to 1.5ºC there must be no new oil and gas projects, and a rapid phase out of existing extraction over this decade.

“The First Minister and her government must now call for the Cambo oil field to be rejected and to support a ban on all new oil and gas projects. The Scottish Government must ensure that people and communities working in oil and gas are at the heart of planning this rapid phase out of fossil fuels, whilst scaling up renewable energy and oil rig decommissioning to help create decent green jobs.

“Scotland must be careful and resist the oil and gas industry demands for carbon capture and storage which is a dangerous distraction from the necessary action to cut climate emissions from our energy sector and truly transition away from oil and gas throughout the crucial decade up to 2030.”

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