UK Government ministers have been urged to halt “climate-wrecking” development plans for a new oil field in the North Sea.
Rosebank, located north west of Shetland, is thought to be twice the size of the controversial Cambo development, and could produce almost 70,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak.
Norwegian state-controlled company Equinor has submitted proposals to Westminster to begin production.
Industry experts previously said the plans would boost energy security and the Scottish economy, but the Scottish Green Party has joined environmental groups in calling for the plans to be rejected, arguing it could hinder efforts to meet net zero targets.
Mark Ruskell, the party’s energy and environment spokesman, said: “Rosebank is a climate disaster waiting to happen, we are already past the point when we should have been moving away from oil and gas, yet Westminster is doubling down on it.
“2023 is a key year for our recovery and for our planet, and we cannot squander it. It must be a year of transition and change.
“Yet, with over 100 new climate-wrecking oil and gas exploration licences in the pipeline, and even a new coal mine in Cumbria, the UK Government has been utterly unwilling to take the climate action that is so badly needed.
“We cannot realise our renewable potential as long as we are tied to a Tory government that is more concerned with the profits of its friends in the fossil fuel industry than it is with our environment.”
Rosebank is the biggest undeveloped oil and gas field in the North Sea, with nearly 500 million barrels.
Equinor has said a final investment decision could be made in 2023, with the first oil expected in late 2026.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was urged to oppose the controversial proposals by campaigners during the UN COP27 climate talks last year.
The Scottish Government does not have the powers to deny permission for development of oil fields.
But outcry from critics, including the First Minister, caused the Cambo development to be paused in 2021.
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