Cambo: Nicola Sturgeon says new oil field should be blocked on climate grounds

The Cambo oil field was being considered during the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Tuesday 16 November 2021 18:46 GMT
<p>Nicola Sturgeon said the field should not get the green light </p>

Nicola Sturgeon said the field should not get the green light

A proposed oil field in Scottish waters "should not get the green light", Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon the first minister told MSPs that the new field, at Cambo off Shetland, "could not and should not pass any rigorous climate assessment".

It comes after climate campaigners urged her to get off the fence on the issue. She had previously said the development should be reassessed but stopped short of saying it should be cancelled.

The decision on drilling is not down to the Scottish government, but the UK authorities. Westminster's Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has recently said the new field should "100%" be given the go-ahead.

The oil field, which is situated around 75 miles west of Shetland, was originally licensed for exploration in 2001.

Drilling is expected to start as early as next year and continue for 25 years if the Oil and Gas Authority green-lights the move.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs: "I don't think Cambo should get the green light.

"I don't think we can go on extracting oil and gas forever, and I don't think we can continue to give the go ahead to new oil fields.

"I have set out a proposal for a climate assessment and I think the presumption would be that Cambo could not and should not pass any rigorous climate assessment."

The decision is politically significant as the SNP has in the past talked up Scotland's oil industry and linked it to independence.

Friends of the East Scotland said the decision was "very welcome" but Scottish Conservative MSP Liam Kerr said the first minister's party had "deserted the industry they once cited as the cornerstone of their economic case for independence".

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