New Scots oil and gas exploration plan branded "dangerous and unsustainable"

Oil and gas is still viewed as part of the UK's future energy mix
Oil and gas is still viewed as part of the UK's future energy mix
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Plans for new oil and gas exploration in Scotland's North Sea have been branded "dangerous and unsustainable" by the Greens.

It comes after the Oil and Gas Authority opened up applications to explore in large areas of the North Sea and West of Shetland.

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There are 768 blocks or part-blocks on offer across the main producing areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), in the first round of licensing since the UK committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

But environmentalists have hit out at the move.

“Given the UN have said we have 11 years before climate change becomes irreversible, this decision is unsustainable and dangerous," said a spokesman for the Scottish Greens.

“If we are serious about tackling the climate emergency head on, a just transition needs to start right now, not after we’ve extracted every last bit of oil and gas. That means investment in the alternatives and securing jobs has to step up immediately."

Read more: Oil and gas extraction plans could see UK miss climate change goal - report
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said that opening up more areas for oil and gas exploration "undermines other efforts to tackle the climate emergency".

It is the 32nd round of licensing for exploratory drilling over more than 50 years.

The Oil and Gas Authority said the North Sea's resources are still seen as part of Britain's future energy mix.

"Maximising economic recovery from the UKCS is vital to meet our energy demands and reduce reliance on imports," it said.