Unlimited Recovery of Hydrocarbons Not Sustainable

Work to be undertaken to support a just transition for Scotland’s energy sector.

The Scottish Government will no longer support unlimited recovery of hydrocarbons including oil and gas, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reiterated.

The Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party Agreement set out the position that countries around the world – including the UK – cannot continue with unlimited recovery of hydrocarbons if the aims of the Paris Agreement are to be met.

The focus will now be on achieving the fastest possible just transition for the oil and gas sector – one that delivers jobs and economic benefit, ensures our energy security, and meets our climate obligations.

In a speech to students and Strathclyde University, the First Minister set out plans for an analysis of Scotland’s energy needs to be undertaken taken to determine how the energy sector can help deliver our contribution to the Paris targets.

The First Minister said:

“We must accept that unlimited recovery of hydrocarbons is not consistent with meeting the aims of the Paris Agreement.

“The transition to net zero can and will bring many opportunities for economic and environmental progress. 

“Our commitment to supporting a Just Transition for Scotland, and for the oil and gas sector, will ensure that we assist the workforce to capture those future opportunities.

“In Scotland, our just transition will put fairness for workers and communities front and centre. That focus on justice and fairness will be central to Scotland’s approach to COP26.”

Minister for Zero Carbon Housing Patrick Harvie said:

“Global inaction on the climate emergency must not be allowed to continue.

“Even though the most optimistic outcome of COP26 would mean actions are being taken which could, if not should, have been taken years ago, we can still limit the harm of our past and present environmental destruction if we commit ourselves to immediate action on the scale that’s needed.

“The Scottish Government recognises that unlimited fossil fuel extraction, or “maximum economic recovery”, is incompatible with climate action.

“Scotland, and the world, can have a sustainable future and a fairer more equal basis for shared prosperity, but only if we leave the economy of the past behind us, and build a greener economy.”