Scottish Labour has called on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to “set an example” ahead of Cop26 and oppose the Cambo oil field.
With the key climate summit just three months away, and ministers in the Scottish Government claiming it could be the last chance for humanity to stop the most devastating impacts of climate change, the controversial proposed oil field has come to the fore.
Up to 132 million tonnes of carbon could be released if the field, off the coast of Shetland, is given the green light and require a land mass 1.5 times the size of Scotland to counter.
A report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claimed global warming will continue into at least the middle of this century, but failure to take action to limit CO2 emissions now would mean the target set by governments – of remaining below 1.5C of warming – will be missed.
The report also claimed global warming could even exceed 2C in this century without urgent action.
While the decision is not devolved to Holyrood, pressure has been growing on Ms Sturgeon and her Government to publicly oppose the plans in an effort to influence the final decision, including an approach by climate activists during a visit to the Govanhill Carnival in Glasgow, where the First Minister said “it’s not an issue for the Scottish Government”.
Labour net zero spokeswoman Monica Lennon has written to the First Minister, urging her to speak out.
“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,” she said.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
A Scottish Government spokesman 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 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.”