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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Ninian Wilson

Westminster urged to halt exploration of undeveloped North Sea oil field

THE UK Government is being urged to halt exploration of an undeveloped North Sea oil field and transition away from fossil fuels.

The Scottish Greens say that the Rosebank site is a “climate disaster waiting to happen”.

Thought to hold the equivalent of 500 million barrels, it is the largest undeveloped oil and gas field in the North Sea.

And last year the UK Government announced that it could approve over 100 new oil and gas exploration licences as part of its latest licensing round.

The Scottish Greens energy and environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell said: “Rosebank is a climate disaster waiting to happen. We are already way 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. That is what we are working towards with Scottish Greens in government here in Scotland, where we are investing in onshore wind and have banned new incinerators.

“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.

He went on to say that renewable energy “is the cheapest and cleanest energy available”, adding: “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.

“The climate vandalism has gone on long enough. This must be the year when Rishi Sunak and his colleagues finally do the right thing for people and planet.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The UK is leading the world on climate change and our British Energy Security Strategy sets out our plan to supercharge our domestic renewable energy and nuclear capacity, as well as supporting our North Sea oil and gas industry as we transition to lower carbon energy.  

“No decision has yet been made regarding the proposed Rosebank field and development proposals for oil fields under existing licences are a matter for the regulators.” 

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