Cambo oil field decision: We cannot act as if climate change isn't real – Angus Robertson MSP

For decades Scotland was the biggest oil producer in the European Union.

Nicola Sturgeon has written to Boris Johnson asking for a reassessment of oil licences, including the Cambo field, in light of climate change (WPA Pool/Getty Images).

Together with other nations around the world, we need to end our dependence on fossil fuel pronto. More than that, we are being exhorted by climate experts to change to greener technologies and stop the climate change that otherwise will become irreversible.

Only recently, a United Nations report on the situation issued a “code red” for humanity and we must act.

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This is the background to a heightened debate about the new Cambo oilfield west of Shetland, which Boris Johnson and the Scottish Tories are keen to see go ahead.

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Last week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote to the UK Prime Minister calling for a reassessment of licences already granted, including for Cambo.

In her letter she said: “Such licences, some of them issued many years ago, should be reassessed in light of the severity of the climate emergency we now face, and against a compatibility checkpoint that is fully aligned with our climate change targets and obligations.”

As delegates prepare to travel to Scotland for the UN Cop26 climate change summit, this issue is going to become even more pressing.

Do we want to be a credible global leader pressing for climate action or act as if nothing has changed?

Scotland has won twice on the natural lottery: I think we should concentrate on the massive future renewables potential at our disposal rather than the damaging petrocarbons which do so much harm to the environment.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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