Richard Dixon: Last week the oil industry was having its annual jamboree in Aberdeen, telling everyone that the best way to reduce climate emissions is to let them take as much oil and gas out of the North Sea as possible. Apparently, the industry is ready to play a “major role” in the net-zero emissions crusade. And it expects to still be pumping oil in 2050. This desperate view from an alternate universe might be laughable if the Scottish Government were not colluding with it. Let’s get real. Globally, around three-quarters of climate change is caused by our use of fossil fuels. If you run a company extracting oil and gas, climate change is mostly your fault. Climate change is killing people, destroying livelihoods and pushing wildlife to the brink right now and it will get much worse. In the industry’s “roadmap”, they talk extensively about the three per cent of UK emissions that they are “responsible” for, and promise to reduce this to “almost zero-emissions” by 2050. This is disingenuous nonsense. Let’s be clear, they produce three per cent of UK emissions while extracting oil and gas. The other 90 per cent or so of UK emissions that come from actually burning the stuff are apparently not their problem. Last week’s Programme for Government started quite well, saying support for the oil and gas industry would be conditional on an energy transition. It transpires this mostly means just buying into the industry’s fantasy world where oil can flow forever. The Scottish Government is doing lots of good things on climate change but they will all be for nought if they do not plan an end to oil extraction.
Scotsman 9th Sept 2019 read more »