Reaction to publication of draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan

Oxfam Scotland’s reaction to the publication of the Scottish Government’s draft new Energy Strategy

Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, has published the Scottish Government’s draft new Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan for consultation.

In response to the decision to further consult on “whether there should be a presumption against new exploration for oil and gas”, Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said:

“This draft Energy Strategy was delayed, yet we still await leadership from the Scottish Government against any new oil and gas – that would demand clear opposition to any new exploration and production. Instead, we see more deliberating, and therefore yet more delay.

“The power to end new licenses rests with the UK Government, but Scottish Ministers should be unequivocal in their opposition because yet more climate-wrecking fossil fuels will have devastating effect for people already suffering from droughts, storms, and other extreme weather events made worse by the climate crisis.

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s recognition that “unlimited extraction of fossil fuels” is inconsistent with Scotland’s climate obligations and its focus on the opportunities available from the transition to a low-carbon future. However, to accelerate this transition, Scottish Ministers should strongly oppose any new oil and gas, starting now.”

Livingstone added:

“A ‘just transition’ away from oil and gas in Scotland is essential, and consultation on this is of course critical, but for this transition to be truly just it must also be significantly faster – as well as fair – for people suffering the impact of our climate negligence in regions like East Africa.

“Ending new oil and gas exploration and production, while rapidly phasing out existing production, is a critical step alongside greater investment in wider emission reduction, funded by making polluters pay for their damage.

“Just weeks ago, the Scottish Government’s own climate advisers warned that progress in cutting emissions has ‘largely stalled’ with seven out of 11 targets missed. They say the targets are ‘in danger of becoming meaningless’.

“Urgently accelerating climate action is essential, but it must come with a robust stance against new oil and gas.”




Notes to Editors

The Scottish Government’s new Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan.

In May 2021 the International Energy Agency (IEA), published its first ever scenario report aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. It concludes that from 2021 there should be no more development of new oil, gas, or coal production globally.

The UK Committee on Climate Change’s latest Progress Report to the Scottish Parliament and the first five-yearly review of Scottish Emissions Targets.

Oxfam Scotland co-funded recent research for Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, Financing Climate Justice: Fiscal measures for climate action in a time of crisis, setting out a range of options to better spend existing public money to drive climate action, as well as new measures to generate additional resources to invest in climate action.

In October, Oxfam warned that one person is likely to die of hunger every 36 seconds between now and the end of the year in drought-ravaged East Africa as the worst hit areas hurtle towards famine.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact: Natalie Terry,  Media and Communications Advisor, Oxfam Scotland,, (+44) 7906 139 293