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by Louise Wilson
12 August 2021
Pressure mounts on Nicola Sturgeon to oppose Cambo

Cambo oil field protestors gathered outside a UK Government building in Edinburgh last month | SST/Alamy Stock Photo

Pressure mounts on Nicola Sturgeon to oppose Cambo

The First Minister is facing mounting pressure to oppose the proposal for the Cambo oilfield off the coast of Shetland.

Labour’s net zero and energy spokesperson Monica Lennon has written directly to Nicola Sturgeon urging her to back the Stop Cambo campaign.

It follows the publication of the UN IPCC report which warned limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees “will be beyond reach” if emissions are not rapidly cut.

UN chief Antonio Guterres said the report “must sound a death knell” for fossil fuels.

The UK Government is set to make a decision on the further expansion of the Cambo oilfield in the coming weeks.

If approved, it’s thought the site could ultimately produce 170m barrels of oil, which would produce emissions equivalent to 16 coal-fired power plants running for a year.

The Stop Cambo campaign is urging the UK Government not to go ahead with the proposal.

Lennon wrote: “Despite the lack of leadership from ministers in the UK and Scottish governments, the people-powered Stop Cambo campaign is gaining momentum. This is thanks to the courage and passion of citizens across Scotland and beyond. They deserve to know that our political leaders understand the science and are paying attention.

 “First Minister, they need you to use your voice and influence to oppose Cambo.

“Workers and communities need to see that the Scottish Government is actively working to deliver a just transition to a green economy and has a credible energy plan.”

Asked by young climate campaigners at the weekend, Sturgeon refused to publicly oppose the oilfield expansion, saying it was “not an issue for Scottish Government”.

She added: “I do hear what you’re saying and I’ve got a lot of sympathy with it, but there’s issues as First Minister that I’ve got to make sure that I properly consider.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “While decisions on the Cambo oil field are reserved to Westminster, the First Minister has made clear that we are looking closely at the issue, particularly in in light of the IPCC’s most recent scientific report.

“We are wholly committed to becoming a net-zero economy by 2045 and any Scottish Government support for oil and gas businesses operating in the North Sea is conditional upon them contributing to a sustainable and inclusive energy transition, and ensuring a secure energy supply.”

Last week, the Scottish Greens also urged the First Minister to condemn the proposal.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie, who is currently in talks with Sturgeon about a prospective government deal, said it was “time for the Scottish Government to finally recognise that business as usual for the oil and gas industry can't go on.”

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