Ex-SNP aide lashes out at Nicola Sturgeon for ‘disappointing’ position on Cambo oilfield

Scotland's position on oilfield project 'disappointing' says Mutch

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In November, as Cop26 ended in Glasgow, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon voiced her strongest opinion so far on the proposed development, saying: “I don’t think that Cambo should get the green light.” She had previously urged the UK Government to reassess the plans, amid growing concern over the impact of fossil fuels on climate change. But Mr Mutch explained why the SNP position is “disappointing.

Speaking to BBC’s The Nine, Mr Mutch said: “It’s a difficult decision to make of course but I think the position that the Scottish government has taken in recent weeks is a bit disappointing.

“It’s disappointing for two reasons.

“We need a supply of oil and gas for a number of years hence indicating the premature end of the North Sea will make us overly reliant on more imported oil and gas from the Middle East and Russia.

“That comes with a heavier carbon footprint.

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“There’s also the issues in terms of 100,000 jobs particularly across the northeast of Scotland that are dependent on the oil and gas industry.

“Moving too fast to net zero could put those at risk and that’s the real challenge.”

Ms Sturgeon has said the controversial Cambo oil field off the coast of Shetland should not be given the go-ahead,.

The First Minister voiced her strongest opinion so far on the proposed development, saying: “I don’t think that Cambo should get the green light.”

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Ms Sturgeon had previously urged the UK Government to reassess the plans, amid growing concern over the impact of fossil fuels on climate change.

But speaking at Holyrood as she updated MSPs on the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon said: “I don’t think 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 don’t think we can go and continue to give the go-ahead to new oil fields. So I don’t think that Cambo should get the green light.”

However she stressed it was the UK Government that has final approval on the development, saying by calling for its reassessment she had “set out a process by which a different decision could be arrived at”.

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The First Minister said: “I have set out a proposal for a climate assessment and I think the presumption would be that Cambo couldn’t and shouldn’t pass any rigorous climate assessment.”

Labour’s Monica Lennon had raised the issue in Holyrood on Tuesday, telling the First Minister: “There is no rigorous climate change test that Cambo can possibly pass, so the First Minister must do more than ask the UK Government to simply reassess the proposed oil field.”

She urged Ms Sturgeon to “oppose Cambo in the strongest possible terms and provide the political leadership that has been lacking”.

Ms Sturgeon’s comments were welcomed by environmental campaigners, with Mary Church, of Friends of the Earth Scotland, saying: “We welcome the First Minister’s acknowledgement that there is no credible climate test that the Cambo oil field could ever pass.

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