We are just a day away from the Scottish Elections on May 6.
They coincide with a time of change and opportunity for our industry. The ink is now dry on our recently agreed ground-breaking North Sea Transition Deal with the UK Government, which has the potential to secure the future of our industry as we navigate to a net-zero future.
To ensure that our industry’s voice is heard in these last weeks of campaigning, OGUK has called on candidates to champion the role of oil and gas in the energy mix and energy transition.
The OGUK manifesto calls on the next Scottish Government to continue to champion the role of oil and gas as a key part of the energy mix, providing reassurance to the 102,000 people whose jobs are supported by the industry across Scotland, as well as the investor community.
It is also particularly important in this, the year of COP26, that the new Scottish Energy Strategy reflects this, but also highlights future opportunities for our supply chain, ensuring the benefits of the deal are felt across Scotland as a whole.
In order to champion the role of oil and gas in the energy transition we ask that the next Scottish Parliament and Government:
Support the North Sea Transition Deal – We ask for political support for the NSTD, the first deal of its kind by a G7 country that recognises the oil and gas industry is key to achieving UK net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The industry is moving at pace towards a lower carbon future, showing global leadership in supporting the UK to meet its net-zero commitment. We want the Scottish Government to work with industry to ensure the benefits of this deal are felt across Scotland.
Share Cabinet responsibility for net zero – We ask that all cabinet secretaries take collective responsibility for supporting Scotland’s effort to achieve its net zero targets and drive a fair transition for our energy communities.
Introduce competitive business taxation – We ask for a competitive business rates system to support our members who have offices, warehouses and facilities right across Scotland.
Work with industry to support our skilled workforce – We ask that government works with industry to ensure that our schools, universities and colleges are geared towards training a skilled workforce now, but also for those highly technical and exciting roles of the future. We also need government to champion the industry so that the next generation feels confident about choosing an energy career.
Vaccinate our workforce – We ask that if there is additional capacity after frontline health and care staff, the elderly and those deemed vulnerable have been vaccinated, then vaccines should also be rolled out to the offshore workforce who are critical to delivering our energy supply.
Improve physical connectivity – We ask for a stronger focus on connectivity between oil and gas hubs in Scotland and overseas, for instance preserving landing slots at Heathrow airport for regional hub flights and regular and efficient rail and road connections between Scotland’s cities.
Improve digital connectivity – We ask for better digital connectivity in Scotland. A report published in 2020 showed that although Aberdeen City is one of the best-connected cities in Scotland, 22,000 premises in Aberdeenshire still cannot access high-speed broadband.
Trade support – We ask for continued support as the Trade Vision is implemented for the full range of activities that support decarbonisation overseas to ensure our world class supply chain is supported to export its products and expertise and drive the global effort to reduce emissions.
Regenerated city centres – We ask that our city centres are championed by government. Thriving city centres that drive commercial confidence are essential to encouraging our people to want to live in Scotland and our entrepreneurs and investors to base their businesses here.
Whilst the North Sea Transition Deal remains a ground-breaking agreement that will support our industry to realise its net-zero ambitions, the political support cannot stop there. We urge the next Scottish Parliament and Government to continue to champion the UK’s oil and gas sector as a fundamental component in achieving a successful, home grown and fair energy transition.