By approving Rosebank , the UK Government has shown that its priority is to protect the profits of the oil industry, rather than helping ordinary people and workers during a cost of living crisis.

Every killer wildfire, flood and heatwave this summer has been made more likely and more extreme by the burning of fossil fuels. These devastating impacts will only get worse unless we stop pouring fuel on the fire and rapidly phase out the extraction of oil, gas and coal.

This means saying no to new fossil fuel projects in the UK.

protestors gather outside UK Government building
People gather outside UK Government building in Edinburgh to protest approval of the Rosebank oil field. Credit: Oliver Goulden

Despite making £62 billion in profit last year, Equinor will pocket a tax break of almost £3billion for developing Rosebank. The UK public are subsidising this firm to drill for oil that will be sold on the international market and do nothing to tackle high energy prices at home.

We know that 80% of the oil produced in the UK is sold on the international market.

Rosebank keeps us locked into fossil fuels

Every pound spent on developing fossil fuel projects is money that is not being spent funding clean, reliable renewables. It also keeps us locked into an energy system of volatile fossil fuels.

Instead of doing deals with mega polluters, politicians should be sitting down with workers, trade unions and communities to plan a fair and fast transition that harnesses their skills and meets their needs.

Oil and gas workers are ready to lead a just transition, but they are caught in a trap of exploitation and fear created by fossil fuel companies. Workers have spoken out repeatedly about how working conditions in this industry are plummeting, just as company profits, household prices and global temperatures are soaring.

Protestors gather outside Aberdeen building
Protest outside North Sea Transition Authority in Aberdeen

Globally, the tide is turning against fossil fuels, and the UK risks being left behind. We must transform the current energy system that is only working for the companies profiting from it.

We know that at least three times as many decent green jobs can be created in renewables than those at risk from a phase out of oil and gas. These are roles that can have a long term future and ensure that the experience of workers is retained to build a better future. The planet needs it and the people are demanding it.

The climate movement will continue to resist the Rosebank project. The biggest field deserves the biggest fight. Tens of thousands of people have spoken out against Rosebank in the last year and the condemnation of this decision has been widespread.

Protests against Rosebank approval

Almost as soon as the decision was made, people were on the streets in protest. The weekend saw dozens of actions across the UK. Hundreds of people attended a protest in Edinburgh outside the UK Government building.

Credit: Neil Hanna
Credit: Neil Hanna

Meanwhile in Aberdeen people gathered outside the offices of the North Sea Transition Authority – the Government body who approved the Rosebank application – declaring it a climate crime scene.