Environmental campaigners are accusing the oil and as industry of trying to underplay the effects its products have on climate change – after industry bosses committed to making improvements in their production process.
Oil & Gas UK claims the industry is embarking on a new effort to cut emissions in how it extracts fossil fuels. This is to include the electrification of platforms, decommissioning of older production facilities and reducing the amount of flaring involved with more work on offsetting, as an example.
Oil and Gas UK’s chief executive Deirdre Michie said: “Our industry will play its part by reducing its emissions and using its skills to develop the solutions that will be needed to make a significant contribution to the UK’s overall targets.”
But activists say emissions from extracting oil and gas represent just a tiny fraction of the total climate emissions created when these fossil fuels are burned.
They say efforts must be ramped up in encouraging people and businesses away from using oil and gas and moving towards renewable energy instead. They say that is also a massive opportunity to create sustainable, high skilled jobs and boost the economy.
Up to May this year, government records show 500,000 fewer people on payrolls during COVID-19. The price of oil also hit record lows.
Friends of the Earth Scotland Just Transition Campaigner Ryan Morrison said: “The oil and gas industry is being disingenuous with its focus on reducing the impact of extracting fossil fuels without any acknowledgement of the far greater impacts of actually burning billions of barrels of oil and gas.
“The only honest zero carbon strategy is a rapid, well-planned conversion of the offshore industry away from fossil fuels and towards renewables.
Can oil & gas industry ever claim to be green?
“Fossil fuels drive the climate crisis and the industry has shown time and time again it does not serve the interests of people or planet.
He added: “Thousands of offshore workers are facing redundancy, supply chain companies in Scotland are struggling to cope with the industry’s volatility while the reckless pursuit of every last drop of oil and gas brings climate breakdown ever closer.
“Instead of dancing to the industry’s tune and throwing public money into fanciful technologies like carbon capture and fossil hydrogen, both Scottish and UK Governments must invest in a Just Transition, building secure and sustainable jobs in a 100% renewable energy system that prioritises workers and communities instead of corporate interests.“
WWF Scotland’s Lang Banks said: “The oil and gas industry needs to take responsibility for the use of its products, not just how green its operations are. Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is the only fair and sustainable way to address the climate emergency.”
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