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Climate / Parliament vote on future oil and gas projects as Scottish Tories show support for Cambo

Oil rigs in the Cromarty Firth. Photo: Pixabay

THE FUTURE of the oil and gas sector will be the subject of a vote at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday amid support from the Conservatives for the Cambo field north west of Shetland.

The party has secured a debate on supporting new oil and gas projects – “because a strong North Sea sector supporting tens of thousands of Scottish jobs is preferable to increasing energy imports during the transition to net zero”.

The Tories say the vote will put the SNP “under pressure to pick a side between the North East economy and the extremist Greens”.

Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston: ‘The importance of the sector can’t be overstated’. Photo: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

Climate campaigners say the UK Government approving the extraction of the Cambo field would send out the wrong message ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow in November.

But those in favour say oil is still needed in the green energy transition and producing it in UK waters is a better bet than having to import it.

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said: “The oil and gas sector supports jobs and livelihoods across the Highlands and Islands, with Sullom Voe a major example of that.

“That’s why the importance of the sector can’t be overstated, and why the Scottish Conservatives are using our debate time in Holyrood to focus on an industry which remains so important for Shetland’s economy.

“While the SNP are prepared to cut the sector off at its knees just to appease their new Green allies, we have heard precious little from the nationalists about how their anti-business approach will impact oil and gas workers and businesses here in Shetland.”

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Meanwhile, lawyers from the ClientEarth NGO have written to 17 major UK and international banks – including Barclays, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank – requesting they justify their support for the operators of the Cambo oil field project in light of the banks’ own climate commitments of net-zero by 2050.

If given the green light, Cambo would be one of the first proposals to receive approval since the International Energy Agency declared that there could be no new oil and gas supply projects if the world is to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

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