MSPs to debate future of Scotland’s oil and gas industry

The debate is being brought forward by the Scottish Conservatives.

MSPs to debate future of Scotland’s oil and gas industry iStock

MSPs are set to debate the future of Scotland’s oil and gas industry – a week after work on the controversial Cambo oilfield development was paused.

The debate, being brought forward by the Scottish Conservatives, will take place in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.

The party has hit out at the Scottish Government over its opposition to new oilfield developments, accusing ministers of abandoning the industry.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross last week challenged Nicola Sturgeon at Holyrood on the issue at First Minister’s Questions.

He claimed that her government has “extreme economic views” at its heart, as he took aim at Green ministers Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater.

But, the First Minister warned Ross against making “unfounded accusations”, as she insisted that she is committed to ensuring a just transition away from oil and gas that does not leave people behind.

Ahead of the debate on Wednesday, Scottish Conservative net zero, energy and transport spokesman Liam Kerr described the influence of the Scottish Greens as “corrosive”.

“It beggars belief that the SNP are willing to abandon an industry that supports tens of thousands of jobs and adds billions to our economy, simply to appease a few Scottish Green ministers in their Cabinet,” said Kerr.

“The corrosive influence of the Greens in parliament is already costing Scottish jobs, and may well have cost us the entire Cambo project.  

“This is not the ‘just transition’ that oil and gas workers were promised, this is a sudden cliff edge that risks devastating communities in the North East. 

“Imported oil and gas has a carbon footprint more than twice that of domestic production, and would make it even harder for us to reach net zero.”

Kerr also insisted his party is “determined” to hold the Scottish Government to account.

He said: “The SNP-Green Government’s naïve understanding of our energy needs will only force Scotland to import more energy from abroad, costing the public more and increasing emissions.  

“The Scottish Conservatives believe that our oil and gas industry has a crucial role to play in our journey to net zero.

“The SNP’s decision to abandon the oil and gas industry in Scotland could destroy Scottish livelihoods for no environmental gain whatsoever – and the Scottish Conservatives are determined to hold the Scottish Government to account on this deeply unjust move.”