This week has seen the publication of an important report on North Sea oil and gas. ‘Sea Change – climate emergency, jobs and managing the phase-out of UK oil and gas extraction’. The report is co-published by Platform, Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth Scotland. It finds that
- The UK’s 5.7 billion barrels of oil and gas in already-operating oil and gas fields will exceed the UK’s share in relation to Paris climate goals – whereas industry and government aim to extract 20 billion barrels;
- Recent subsidies for oil and gas extraction will add twice as much carbon to the atmosphere as the phase-out of coal power saves;
- Given the right policies, job creation in clean energy industries will exceed affected oil and gas jobs more than threefold.
Recommendations to the UK and Scottish Governments include:
- Stop issuing licenses and permits for new oil and gas exploration and development, and revoke undeveloped licenses;
- Rapidly phase out all subsidies for oil and gas extraction, including tax breaks, and redirect them to fund a Just Transition;
- Enable rapid building of the clean energy industry through fiscal and policy support to at least the extent they have provided to the oil industry, including inward investment in affected regions and communities;
- Open formal consultations with trade unions to develop and implement a Just Transition strategy for oil-dependent regions and communities.
We hope to publish a longer review of the report in the near future. However, in the meantime we strongly recommend downloading, reading and sharing the PDF.