Environmental campaigners have urged the Scottish Government to hold the oil and gas industry to account over the treatment of its workforce and to use its existing Just Transition Commission as the vehicle for discussing the energy transition.

The first meeting of the Strategic Leadership Group on Oil and Gas and Energy Transition, chaired by Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, will take place later today (7/5/20) after agreeing in April to take a “task force approach” to COVID-19 as well as “economic recovery and the energy transition.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland Just Transiton Campaigner Ryan Morrsion commented,

“Following the oil price crash and the onset of the coronavirus restrictions, the oil and gas industry has immediate questions to answer after laying off thousands of workers with no support. The Minister must hold industry representatives to account for their disregard for the workforce and their communities at this time of extreme vulnerability across the UK.

‘With the Scottish Government’s new Economic Recovery Advisory Group and the existing Just Transition Commission already in place, there is no merit in giving this group dominated by fossil fuel company representatives such a prominent role in discussing the energy transition when we know they will attempt only to prolong oil and gas drilling in the North Sea regardless of what is best for workers, communities and climate.

“The Scottish Government’s Just Transition Commission brings together a far broader range of voices including environmentalists, trade unions and those aiming to tackle fuel poverty. Now is the time to commit to giving this body a critically important long term role, immediately bringing economic recovery and planning for energy transition into its workplan.

“The current energy system is failing to deliver for people or planet, and government support for the industry must be rooted in delivering a Just Transition. This means protecting the workforce, transitioning away from fossil fuels and transforming the energy sector to address wider social issues. It is critical that the Scottish Government hears from the diversity of workers and communities likely to be affected, not just industry representatives who have a vested interest in drilling every last drop from the North Sea.”

The UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) – the independent adviser to the UK Government and Scottish Governments – yesterday warned about investing recovery funds in industries that locked in fossil fuel use and increased risk of further disruption from climate breakdown.
ENDS


Notes to Editors

The Strategic Leadership Group on Oil and Gas and Energy Transition is the rebranded group previously called the Oil and Gas Industry Leadership Group.
https://www.gov.scot/groups/oil-and-gas-industry-leadership-group/

On April 2nd, the Strategic Leadership Group held an extraordinary meeting where it agreed to adopt a “task force approach” to focus on “the COVID-19 response, the longer term economic response and the route map for energy transition” with its first meeting to be held on 7th May.
https://www.gov.scot/news/protecting-energy-sector-workforce-and-net-zero-ambitions/

The Scottish Government’s Just Transition Commission held its first meeting in January 2019 and is scheduled to deliver its final report in early 2021.
https://www.gov.scot/groups/just-transition-commission/

More than 4,000 North Sea oil rig jobs cut amid Covid-19 crisis (27 March 2020)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/27/more-than-4000-north-sea-oil-rigs-workers-lose-job-amid-covid-19-crisis

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) – the independent adviser to the UK Government and Scottish Government – yesterday warned about investing recovery funds in industries that locked in fossil fuel use and increased risk of further climate breakdown.
https://www.theccc.org.uk/2020/05/06/take-urgent-action-on-six-key-principles-for-a-resilient-recovery/

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, 75 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.