Mark Ruskell speaking at Scottish Green Party conference

Licensing the Rosebank oil field is ‘totally incompatible’ with COP commitments, the Scottish Greens have said.

This week at the COP28 climate summit, the UK joined countries around the world in backing an agreement that called for a transition away from fossil fuels. Yet, the UK government has already committed to supporting 100 new oil and gas licences and has given permission for drilling in the Rosebank oil field.

The Scottish Greens’ climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell has described this as ‘brazen hypocrisy’.

Mr Ruskell said: “How can any UK government Minister keep a straight face when calling for the world to transition away from fossil fuels while they are planning for new oil fields in the North Sea?

“You can’t call for the world to move on from fossil fuels one day while doubling down on oil and gas the next. The two are totally incompatible. It’s this kind of brazen hypocrisy that is doing untold damage to our environment.

“Rosebank is a disaster waiting to happen. The science could not be clearer, we can see the devastating impact of climate change all around us. Why would any government with even a shred of concern for our environment commit to new drilling that they know will make it even worse?

“It is actions that will make a difference, not words. Calling for others to make changes that you aren’t prepared to make yourself is not good enough, but that is what Rishi Sunak and his Tory colleagues are doing.

“Our world cannot cope with more of the same destructive policies, not if we want future generations to have a livable planet.

“We will only ever have one environment, we must do all that we can to protect it. That must mean a halt to new fossil fuel exploration and embracing our vast renewable potential.

“Scotland needs climate independence from Westminster, so that we can protect our environment and work for a just transition with thousands of high quality renewable jobs and a thriving, greener economy”

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