Activist confronts Sturgeon at COP27 over North Sea oil and gas field

The climate activist asked the First Minister her stance on the undeveloped Rosebank oil and gas field.

Campaigners urge First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to oppose Rosebank oil and gas field in North Sea Twitter

Nicola Sturgeon was confronted by a climate activist at COP27 urging her to oppose an oil and gas field off the coast of the Shetland Islands.

The First Minister attended the summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, as world leaders gathered.

At the conference, Sturgeon was approached by an activist from Fridays for Future Eastern Europe, Wiktoria Jedroszkowiak.

She asked the SNP leader about her stance on the Rosebank oil and gas field, operated by Norwegian state-owned multinational energy company Equinor.

Rosebank is currently the largest undeveloped oil and gas field in the North Sea.

An application has been submitted for UK Government approval to start developing the field.

The Scottish Government does not have the powers to deny permission for development of oil fields.

However, last year, Sturgeon did come out against the Cambo oil field development during COP26 in Glasgow.

In a video posted online showing the interaction between Sturgeon and the activist, Jedroszkowiak tells the First Minister: “My friends from Scotland, they are very concerned about the Rosebank oil field and I want to ask if you have any opinion on that.”

Sturgeon explained that she had to go, but the activist told her it was “very important” when she said no to Cambo.

The First Minister added: “My opinion on this is really clear – we’ve got to move away from fossil fuels, we’ve got to do that in a just way.

“Your friends in Scotland speak to me about these things regularly.”

Speaking after the video was released, Jedroszkowiak said: “When I spoke to Scotland’s First Minister, she did not give me a straight answer on her position on the Rosebank field.

“I know how important it is for political leaders to do everything they can to stop new fossil fuels like this from going ahead.

“The development may be off the coast of Scotland but new oil and gas is simply pouring fuel on the fire of the climate crisis which is already causing massive harm around the world, and further threatening young people’s future.”

Scotland’s net zero secretary Michael Matheson said the First Minister has previously made clear the “unlimited extraction of fossil fuels is not consistent with our climate obligations”.

He added: “It is alarming that the UK Government appears to believe that licensing of more than 100 new oil and gas fields will not ‘materially impact’ the ability of the UK to reach net-zero by 2050 and reckless to believe that this approach is in anyway consistent with our climate obligations.

“It is also extremely disappointing that the climate compatibility test proposed by the UK Government is limited to new exploration, and that the bar has been set so low in terms of the test itself.

“It is a lightweight version of the test consulted upon earlier this year.”

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