Sturgeon opposes green light for Cambo oil field

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has told MSPs that the proposed Cambo oilfield should not go ahead.

Previously, Sturgeon has said the new development should be reassessed but has not gone as far as opposing it outright.

The UK Oil and Gas Authority will make the final decision on whether Cambo will go ahead. The UK government has said an environmental impact assessment will be carried out first.

But lawyers are concerned that the government intends to use an out-of-date impact assessment that fails to take into account the latest climate data.

Sturgeon told MSPs on Tuesday that she had set out a proposal for climate assessment and that “I think the presumption would be that Cambo could not and should not pass any rigorous climate assessment”.

She added: “I don't think Cambo should get the green light. I don't think we can go on extracting oil and gas forever, and I don't think we can continue to give the go ahead to new oil fields.”

Greenpeace welcomed the comments. Sam Chetan Welsh, political advisor to Greenpeace UK, said: “Hopefully this, on top of the many similar comments from scientists, energy experts and leaders around the globe, clarifies the situation for the prime minister. Scotland doesn’t want Cambo, and neither does the rest of the world."

Sturgeon was responding to a question from Labour MSP Monica Lennon in a debate about the outcomes of COP26, who had argued that "if we are serious about averting climate catastrophe, Cambo cannot go ahead".

But the Scottish Conservatives said Sturgeon had "come off the fence and fully abandoned Scotland's oil and gas industry".

MSP Liam Kerr said: "By refusing to back the Cambo development, the SNP have deserted the industry they once cited as the cornerstone of their economic case for independence."

Developers Siccar Point Energy claim that Cambo would produce 50% fewer emissions from the outset than the average UK oilfield and is one of the first to go through the regulator’s stringent Net Zero Stewardship process.

Jonathan Roger, chief executive of Siccar Point Energy, said: "The UK’s production is in a huge decline. Without new fields we will import even more during the transition to new energy sources, which would have a greater carbon footprint. Cambo is important for UK energy security, but represents only 0.68% of new volumes expected to be approved globally this year."

Compliance Search

Discover all ENDS content in one place, including legislation summaries to keep up to date with compliance deadlines

Compliance Deadlines

Plan ahead with our Calendar feature highlighting upcoming compliance deadlines

Most-read articles


Officer 2, Carriers & Brokers

The post holder will protect and enhance the environment by effective and efficient investigation of complex environmental offending with the emphasis on waste carriers and brokers offences.

Senior Officer – Industry & Waste Regulation

Through the Environment (Wales) Act, Natural Resources Wales has a new duty to pursue the sustainable management of natural resources (SMNR). Under the Act, NRW is also required to provide Area Statements that set out the natural resources in an area, the benefits they provide, and the priorities.

Environmental Manager

As the government’s housing accelerator, Homes England is one of the largest landowners in the country.

Strategic Drinking Water Quality Manager

We have an exciting opportunity for you to join our team at our head office in Warrington, you will establish the long term plans to secure water quality for future generations in the North West.

Environment Officer

If you are an organised, conscientious, hardworking individual, who works well as part of a team and is passionate about making a difference for the environment, then we’ve got the job for you!