Scotland’s ‘to the last drop’, Lou Eve Popper (Le Monde Diplomatique

Windy Country: Windmills near Lerwick, Shetland, September 2021

William Edwards AFP Getty

C.Ambo is a huge oil field discovered off the coast of Shetland in 2002. [it] We need to get the green light.” (1)Prior to this announcement, Shell believed a license to operate from the regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), was imminent. Drilling is set to begin this year, and Phase 1 will produce 170 million barrels of oil, causing climate damage equivalent to running 18 coal-fired power plants at full capacity in a year, according to Scotland. An environmental activist who called out to environmentalists said: The government took several months to reject the project.

In reality, with Westminster making key decisions on British energy policy, Sturgeon had limited room for maneuver. But her views carry weight, as campaigners know. In this case, her words proved inflammatory. In December 2021, Shell, which held a 30% stake in the project, withdrew, stating, “After a comprehensive screening of the proposed Cambo development, the economic justification for investment in this project is not sufficient at this time. We concluded that it is not strong.There is a possibility of delay.” (2)Environmental groups rejoiced.

On the political stage, Sturgeon was criticized on all sides: the Conservative Party accused her of “completely abandoning the Scottish oil and gas industry”. (3), but she also faced flak from her own party.Former Scottish National Party spin-doctor Fergus Match warned against ‘negative mood music’ for the sector (Four)which is a natural caveat given the history of SNPs.

The party began collecting votes in the 1970s, just as the first North Sea oilfields were being discovered. Nationalists saw fossil fuels as a godsend and promised economic independence. Their campaign slogan was ‘It’s Scottish oil’. In 2007, when the SNP came to power, he believed that hydrocarbons could wrest Scotland from London’s control. The same was true of the 2014 independence referendum debate. “In the manifesto he said 8% of the state’s revenue would come from there,” said Dave Moxham, general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), which has more than half a million members. By going against her cambo, Sturgeon has turned her back on her entire political family legacy.

The move is particularly radical because Sturgeon has long been a strong supporter of the fossil fuel industry. When she became Prime Minister in 2014, Scotland’s official policy on hydrocarbons remained unchanged: extracting “to the last drop”. But since then, the climate crisis has taken hold and oil reserves have dwindled. The Communist Party increasingly sees promoting renewable energy as a path to independence while keeping an eye on the North Sea’s resources.

But in May 2021, a new political chapter for SNP has begun. He won the Scottish parliamentary elections, but was unable to secure an absolute majority by a narrow margin. Sturgeon proposed a coalition with the Green Party. The Greens also support independence, but vehemently oppose new drilling in the North Sea. His two Greens in Scotland joined the government, and a few months later the first minister cautiously proposed a ‘re-evaluation’ of Cambo his project. (Five)At the same time, there were signs of growing opposition to hydrocarbons across the UK. In October 2021, Greenpeace unveiled a giant false image of then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, splattered with an oily black liquid near Downing Street. In Edinburgh, young protesters confronted Shell chief Ben van Baden, who was attending a climate change conference. Labor leader Kiel Sturmer called on the government to “say no to Cambo”. With the 26th annual UN climate conference (COP26) rapidly approaching, Sturgeon, a self-proclaimed climate change leader, finds himself in an increasingly awkward position. Days before the Glasgow Summit, she made a symbolic decision to end Scotland’s policy of unlimited fossil fuel mining.

But environmental groups still accuse Sturgeon of wanting to eat her cake.Just days after COP26, she took a stand against Cambo. “She didn’t have a choice for her. Her pressure was too much,” said Ryan Morrison of her Earth friend Scotland. He cautiously welcomes her remarks, but asks, “Is she against the opening?” all New oil fields in the North Sea in principle? it is still unknown. Guy Ingerson, co-chair of the Green Party in Aberdeen, agrees: She is very politically astute and a good communicator. On the environment, she has no core ideology, so she just adapts her political message. The Scottish Government has announced talks with the coalition, although it has chosen not to join the Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance, a group of 12 countries that have pledged to future membership.

The war in Ukraine put Sturgeon back in the spotlight. Johnson wanted to increase North Sea production to isolate Vladimir Putin and secure Britain’s energy supply. Sturgeon counters ‘climate emergency is not over’ (6)She told Scotland’s Conservative Party that most of the North Sea’s crude oil has flowed abroad because the country lacks the infrastructure to refine it. And environmental group Uplift points out that the fossil fuels in the North Sea don’t belong to the UK, but to the multinationals that use them. As production increases, we simply continue to sell products to the highest bidder.

The UK Climate Change Commission also agrees that developing new oil and gas fields is unlikely to reduce the cost of hydrocarbons on the international market. Due to the high prices, the majors are in a position to make huge profits. In February, Labor, with the support of the Scottish Greens, proposed a recently announced windfall tax on oil company profits. However, Sturgeon refused to fully support this. She spoke vaguely about “fair” taxation, but said the “burden” should not “just fall on the people, jobs and investments of north-east Scotland”. (7)This has created a new situation in the fossil fuel industry. Shell said he may reconsider pulling out of Cambo in March. Scotland’s ‘to the last drop’, Lou Eve Popper (Le Monde Diplomatique

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