North Sea oil reserves ‘must remain’ in ground, says Scottish Green MSP

Scottish Green Party's Ross Greer during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 31, 2019. See PA story SCOTLAND Questions. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Scottish Green Party's Ross Greer during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 31, 2019. See PA story SCOTLAND Questions. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Holyrood’s youngest parliamentarian told Nicola Sturgeon that North Sea oil and gas reserves “must remain” in the ground.

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer challenged the First Minister on “maximum extraction” of oil and gas, describing her party’s continued support for the practice as “reckless”.

Mr Greer called out Ms Sturgeon’s support for young climate strikers during yesterday’s First Minister’s Questions, suggesting it was a hollow gesture.

He also accused the Scottish leader of “dodging” his question over climate.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government responded last night by insisting the countries oil and gas sector could play “a positive role” domestically.

Mr Greer said: “It’s an indisputable scientific reality that the overwhelming majority of oil and gas reserves, in the North Sea and elsewhere, must remain there, unburnt. Without this, the climate crisis will become unstoppable.

“The First Minister spoke warmly about a just transition to a low-carbon economy but refused again to commit to keeping fossil fuels in ground.

“Young people face a catastrophic situation and they – we – are understandably angry.

“The SNP’s continued support for maximum extraction of unburnable oil and gas is just reckless.

“Young people see this hypocrisy for what it is.

“Greens will continue to call for real action on this very real emergency.”

Mr Greer was elected as an MSP for the West of Scotland in 2016 aged 21.

He joined the Scottish Greens as a fifteen year old having served as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “There is no bigger priority than tackling climate change and Scotland is already well recognised as a world leader in doing so.

“A strong domestic oil and gas industry and supply chain can play a positive role in supporting the low carbon transition.

“We  are committed to achieving a carbon-neutral economy and to managing that transition in a way that is fair for all.”

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