Reaction to the UK Government announcement that they have awarded another 24 licences to explore for oil and gas in the North Sea.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s climate campaigner Alex Lee said:

“This shameful decision to force through another licensing round shows the UK Government has given up any pretence that they have a shred of concern about climate breakdown. As storms rage and temperatures soar, the UK Government is devoting its time and energy towards bolstering the obscene profits of major polluters rather than protecting the public they are meant to serve.

“Plans for new oil and gas are impeding the transition to renewables, diverting time and resources from where it is needed. All credible climate science says that we must urgently stop burning the oil and gas that is choking our planet.

“Workers need a real transition plan that can help them shift to secure green jobs, not political stunts that aim to further lock households into a fossil fuel system that is failing to provide either security and affordability.

“Both Governments should be working tirelessly to move away from a fossil fuelled energy system, which means they must reject new oil fields and hare-brained schemes to turn the North Sea into Europe’s carbon dumping ground.”


Notes to Editors

NSTA announced that 17 separate companies have today (31 January 2024) been offered a total of 24 licences in the second tranche of the 33rd oil and gas licensing round. These awards follow the 27 licences offered in the first allocation made in October last year with more will follow in the coming months.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has previously said that investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is “moral and economic madness.”

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.