The First Minister has written to Boris Johnson urging him to “reassess” existing oil and gas licences, warning Monday’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report showed the need for urgent collective action.
She warned: “In the words of the IPCC it was ‘code red for humanity’. We all have a moral obligation to act.”
This “moral obligation” to act has seen the First Minister bravely pass the buck, in a classic case of playing politics.
Following up from saying on Sunday that it was “not an issue” for her government, Ms Sturgeon has now sought to deflect it as a UK Government problem and asked for someone else to make the decision.
Wary of a backlash from the industry and her own voters if she demanded Cambo was blocked, Ms Sturgeon has decided to offer up a letter so weak it makes Sir Keir Starmer look punchy.
Labour have opposed the Cambo field since the beginning and can now outflank the Scottish Government on environmental issues.
That it could also see up to 132 million tonnes of carbon released is a problem, but with leadership not every decision is easy.
Ms Sturgeon also called for a UK four-nations summit to discuss how to meet the net-zero target ahead of COP26 in November.
While any collaboration between administrations is a welcome surprise, it’s hard to see it as anything, but a ploy.
If Boris Johnson comes and things go south with his party supporting the oil field, it’s another thing being forced on Scotland by Westminster.
If the Prime Minister does not take up the invitation, Ms Sturgeon is unable to stop it happening.
Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Scotland have already criticised the letter, claiming Ms Sturgeon was “hiding behind Boris Johnson”.
The issue is not one of whether the power to stop it is devolved, it’s one of optics.
Calling for humanity to reassess destroying the planet is notably different from simply saying you should not do it.
As a deal with the Scottish Greens is thrashed out, sooner or later Ms Sturgeon will have to pick a side.