Approval of Rosebank oil field ‘a deplorable decision’

Responding to the UK Government’s decision to approve the development of the Rosebank oil field, Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said: 

“Today’s deplorable decision giving the go-ahead for the development of the UK’s largest undeveloped oil field leaves the UK’s climate commitments in tatters and further trashes the reputation it once held as a global climate leader.

“The decision to lock us further into fossil fuel dependency and increasing emissions as record-shattering heatwaves, floods and wildfires destroy lives around the world is unforgivable. In the UK and globally, it is people with the least responsibility for the climate crisis who are suffering its worst impacts.

“Instead of actively encouraging climate-wrecking fossil fuel projects like Rosebank, the UK government should be incentivising a fair switch to clean, renewable energy and ensure the costs fall on those who are most responsible for climate change and who can afford it.”

Livingstone added: “This damaging decision rests firmly at the door of the Prime Minister. However, to be a credible climate champion, the First Minister must now state his unequivocal opposition to it. The Scottish Government’s upcoming Energy Strategy should make clear that it stands against any new oil and gas licences, whether for exploration or development of known reserves.

“We must get on with delivering a just transition – one that’s fast, as well as fair.”

The approval of Rosebank comes just a day after the International Energy Association once again made clear that there is no need for investment in new oil and gas in its pathway to a net zero world. It warned that new projects could lock in emissions that push the world over the 1.5°C threshold while facing major commercial risk.