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    Scottish govt says Cambo field shouldn't get greenlight

Summary

This is the first time the Scottish leader has explicitly said that the project should not go ahead.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Scottish govt says Cambo field shouldn't get greenlight

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said on November 16 that the Cambo oil development west of the Shetland Islands should not get the green light.

This is the first time the Scottish leader has explicitly said that the project should not go ahead. She previously urged the UK government to re-examine Cambo in light of "the severity of the climate emergency."

Cambo is set to deliver more than 170mn barrels of oil, along with 53.5bn ft3 of natural gas, which its operator Siccar Point estimates could power 1.5mn homes for a year. But UK and Scottish authorities have faced growing pressure from environmentalists to block its development.

"I do not think that we can go on extracting new oil and gas forever – that is why we have moved away from the policy of maximum economic recovery – and I do not think that we can continue to give the go-ahead to new oilfields, so I do not think that Cambo should get the green light," Sturgeon told members of Scotland's parliament.

It is the UK government and not the Scottish government that has the power to approve Cambo's development. So far UK prime minister Boris Johnson has maintained support for the project, insisting in August that "we can't just tear up contracts." 

"I am not the one taking that decision, so I have set out a proposal for a climate assessment, and I think that the presumption would be that Cambo could not and should not pass any rigorous climate assessment," Sturgeon said.

Siccar Point and its partner Shell filed an environmental impact assessment for Cambo back in June.