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Pressure has been put on the Scottish First Minister to publicly oppose plans for the Cambo Oil Field, which have been put forward by Shell and Siccar Point Energy. However, the plans have faced severe backlash as the UK commits to becoming net-zero and with three months until Scotland hosts climate change summit Cop26 in Glasgow.
Activists claim up to 132 million tonnes of carbon could be released if the field, off the coast of Shetland, is given the green light and would require a landmass 1.5 times the size of Scotland to counter.
Pressure has also been put on ministers to oppose any projects which involve fossil fuels following the damning report on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The report, published on Monday, warned immediate action was now needed from all governments to cut carbon emissions in order to salvage efforts to limit global warming below a dangerous tipping point.
The report recommends no further expansion of oil and gas projects and claims global warming will continue into at least the middle of this century.
It stressed a failure to take action to limit CO2 emissions now would mean the target set by governments – of remaining below 1.5C of warming – would be missed.
The UK Government, which is due to make the final decision on the matter, has signified they will support the project and give it the green light.
But while the final decision does not rest with the Scottish Government, young climate activists confronted Nicola Sturgeon last weekend and urged her to publicly oppose the plans in an effort to influence the final decision.
Speaking last weekend, she said: “It’s not an issue for the Scottish Government”.
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Monica Lennon MSP, Scottish Labour net zero spokeswoman, said in a letter to Ms Sturgeon: “With all eyes on Scotland ahead of Cop26, it has never been more important to meet our obligations to the world and set the right example.
“This means taking an unequivocal position on new oil and gas plans, such as the proposed Cambo oil field off the west coast of Shetland.”
She added: “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.
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“They deserve to know that our political leaders understand the science and are paying attention.
“For the sake of our planet, I am asking the Scottish Government to join with Scottish Labour and campaigners in opposing the Cambo oil field.”
She concluded: “Nicola Sturgeon must get off the fence and oppose the Cambo oil field plans.
“The fate of our planet and future generations depends on the actions of our governments today.
“Hiding behind Boris Johnson isn’t an option.”
In response, 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.”
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