Scottish climate campaigners have responded to the announcement that the COP28 climate talks in Dubai failed to reach agreement on the need to urgently phase out fossil fuels or provide climate finance to most affected countries.

The final COP decision included reference to “transition away” from fossil fuels but does not include the fast, fair and funded phase out that many countries, scientists and civil society organisations were calling for.

Campaigners called on Scottish and UK Government to respond and “redouble their efforts to phase out fossil fuels this decade.”

In defiance of climate warnings, the UK Government recently approved the controversial Rosebank oil field and pledged to ‘max out’ UK oil and gas whilst issuing annual licenses to firms who want to look for new sources of oil and gas.

The Scottish Government are considering an application from energy giants SSE and Equinor to build an additional gas-fired power station at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire. Official figures from SEPA show the existing plant is already the single worst polluter in Scotland for the past 5 years, belching out over 1 million tonnes of climate changing gases in 2022.

Friends of the Earth Scotland climate and energy campaigner Caroline Rance commented,

“The repeated failure of COP to address the core problem of fossil fuels is an insult to victims of climate breakdown. Fossil fuel fanatics would rather keep making their obscene profits rather than accept the need to phase out their deadly products.

“The failure to agree an end to fossil fuels at COP28 must not be used as an excuse to delay a fossil fuel phase out at home.

“Rich countries like the US, UK and EU are the biggest historical polluters, all with huge fossil fuel expansion plans. It’s time to end all new oil and gas developments and plan for a phase out of fossil fuels while ramping up renewables. In the UK that means scrapping the plans to open new oil fields like Rosebank and for Scottish Ministers to reject the proposals to burn gas to generate electricity at Peterhead.

“The Scottish Government must redouble its efforts to ensure that people and communities working in oil and gas are at the heart of planning a rapid phase out of fossil fuels, whilst scaling up publicly-owned renewable energy and energy efficiency to create decent green jobs.

“For too long, fossil fuel lobbyists have been allowed access to try to delay and derail global climate talks. If we have any hope of addressing the climate crisis, our politics must be free from the polluting influence of the fossil fuel industry.

“Whilst this COP might not have delivered, these talks are a vitally important international space where all countries have a seat at the table and can theoretically engage on an equal footing. People power matters, we can and we will keep fighting for the better world we know is possible, because our so-called leaders aren’t going to make it without us.”

Notes to editors

The Scottish Government are considering an application from energy giants SSE and Equinor to build a new gas-fired power station at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, in addition to the existing gas plant.

Official figures from SEPA show the existing plant has been the single worst polluter in Scotland for the past 5 years, belching out over 1.35million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2022.

Research shows there were 2400+ fossil fuel lobbyists at the COP28 talks.

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.