Environmental campaigners have criticised the annual Oil and Gas Conference taking place in Aberdeen for failing to recognise the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to put Scotland on a path to a clean energy future. The conference coincides with Scotland meeting its climate targets for the first time.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon said,

“It is ironic that on the day the Scottish Government announced that it has met its climate targets for the first time, oil and gas firms are meeting to discuss how to drill for every last drop in the North Sea. The future of the fossil fuel industry cannot be discussed in a parallel universe where climate change doesn’t matter.

“Climate science tells us that 80% of coal, oil and gas reserves must stay in the ground if we are to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees, while last years' Paris Agreement highlights the gravity of even 1.5 degrees warming.

“The Government and industry are missing an opportunity to put Scotland on a path of rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels. We know that the change to clean, renewable energy is well underway across the world and by co-operating with workers, communities and unions we can manage that transformation in a way that is fair to those affected.

“Scotland’s Business Secretary Keith Brown is calling on the UK Government to provide further subsidies to the oil & gas industry to encourage yet more exploration, whilst his cabinet colleague Roseanna Cunningham is rightly lauding Scotland as a climate leader in other sectors. It's simply not credible for the SNP to keep trying to ride both these horses at once. The bottom line is that going after billions of barrels more oil and being a climate leader are mutually exclusive positions. “

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

 

Scotland has met its annual climate change target for the first time since they were set in 2010. http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/news/2016/06/14/climate-results-welcome-…

Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown's statement (12/6/16): “One of the most critical [challenges] is exploration. Exploration is the future life-blood of the industry, without which we will never realise the 20 billion barrel potential of the North Sea. Higher rates of exploration are crucial if we are to maximise economic recovery and avoid premature cessation of production”
UK Govt must do more on oil and gas exploration http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Brown-UK-Gov-must-do-more-on-oil-and-ga…

Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham (14/6/16): “This is an especially important time for climate change, in light of the international agreement reached in Paris last December and it is great news that Scotland continues to show ambition and demonstrate the progress that can be made.
We will continue to rise to the challenge and the First Minister has already confirmed that the Scottish Government plans to establish a new and more testing 2020 target. We are not complacent and we will continue to take action and encourage others to do their bit to tackle climate change.”
Scotland exceeds 2020 climate targets http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scotland-exceeds-2020-climate-targets-2…

Keith Brown will speak at the Annual Oil & Gas Industry Conference which takes place in Aberdeen on 14-15 June http://oilandgasindustryconference.co.uk

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 some 5,000 local activist groups.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk