Environmental campaigners have criticised the comments from the SNP Westminster Leader Stephen Flynn that the controversial Cambo oil field should get the green light. Campaigners say the SNP should end the ‘deliberate ambiguity’ around oil and gas that the party leadership needs to get its position clear.

The comments come just days after the Scottish Government unveiled their draft new Energy Strategy which is consulting on whether to adopt a position against new oil and gas and for phasing out production ahead of its inevitable decline.

In 2021 80,000 people signed a petition to the UK Government in opposition to the Cambo project. Energy experts have said that there should be no new oil and gas fields if the world is to stay within the critical 1.5C of climate warming. Shell pulled out of the project after huge public opposition.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s head of campaigns Mary Church said:

“The evidence is even clearer now than it was in 2021 when the First Minister spoke out in opposition to the Cambo oil field: new oil and gas extraction is not compatible with a liveable future. No truly robust climate compatibility test would ever give the go-ahead to massive, polluting developments like Cambo, so the SNP leadership needs to get clear on its position and reject all new oil and gas extraction outright.

“If even the Westminster leader of the SNP doesn’t understand what the Scottish Government’s position is, how is the energy sector or anyone else supposed to? There is no room for any new oil and gas development, and some fields already under production must be phased out early for any chance of avoiding catastrophic warming. It’s time for the SNP to move on from the rhetoric and deliberate ambiguity and get off fossil fuels within this decade.

“The huge public and political opposition to the Cambo oil field which led to Shell pulling its funding from the project has not gone away. Thousands of people have backed the linked campaigns against the Jackdaw and Rosebank fields which the oil industry wants to develop. Meanwhile, the climate crisis has intensified, showing more than ever the urgency of the need to phase out fossil fuels.”


Stephen Flynn: Cambo field should go ahead if it meets climate checks

Free to use photos from Stop Cambo protest at COP26

Reaction for Scottish Government Energy Energy (10 January 2023)

UK Climate Change Committee advice to UK Government on future oil and gas licensing, Feb 2022
“The best way of reducing the UK’s future exposure to these volatile prices is to cut fossil fuel consumption on the path to Net Zero – improving energy efficiency, shifting to a renewables-based power system and electrifying end uses in transport, industry and heating. Any increases in UK extraction of oil and gas would have, at most, a marginal effect on the prices faced by UK consumers in future.”

‘No new oil & gas’ to meet climate commitments, says International Energy Agency report, May 2021:

Summary of the Cambo Project, including Siccar Point Energy’s environmental statement, on the BEIS website:
Cambo Field details from Siccar Point Energy:

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups