Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Douglas Ross: We must prioritise North Sea jobs over climate change targets

Post Thumbnail

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross will argue today that protecting oil and gas jobs should be prioritised over climate change targets.

The Moray MP will warn that “too much focus” has been put on managing the decline of the North Sea, and not enough on ensuring its survival for decades to come.

The remarks, due to be made from Aberdeen in an online speech to more than 100 industry workers, will prove controversial with supporters of an accelerated transition away from fossil fuels.

In his speech, Mr Ross will also call for the Scottish and UK governments to work more closely together on their strategy and policy towards the North Sea.

BP’s Clair Ridge development.

The Tory leader wants the two administrations to establish a “North Sea Ministerial Working Group”, and to join forces on a “North Sea Transition Deal”, matching each other’s funding commitments.

And he will suggest an exemption to allow oil and gas workers to be tested for Covid-19 while offshore, if they have been alerted by the track and trace system of coming into contact with someone who had the virus.

My party will not throw away oil and gas jobs to achieve climate goals.”

Douglas Ross

In his first major intervention on oil and gas policy since becoming Scottish Conservative leader, Mr Ross will say: “It’s right that we push to expand the renewables sector, we all want to meet our climate change commitments and achieve the net zero target by 2045.

“But there is far too much focus on managing the decline of the oil and gas industry.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross

“We need to prepare for the future but the priority for me is the 100,000 jobs in the sector right now.

“My party will not throw away oil and gas jobs to achieve climate goals.

“We need our North Sea oil and gas sector to survive for decades, not for years.

“So I will be arguing that both of Scotland’s governments need to find new ways to work together on a more positive, bright future for the industry.”

‘Ensure both governments are doing all they can to protect jobs and retain vital skills’

Paul Wheelhouse

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “The oil and gas industry is a significant component of our economy and Scotland’s Energy Strategy already identifies a crucial role for the sector in the energy transition required to move to an economy and society that generates net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Now, more than ever, we need a just transition that supports sustainable economic growth and jobs.

“We know how important a sustainable future is for those who work in the sector and its supply chain. This has been the focus of the work of the Oil and Gas and Energy Transition Strategic Leadership Group that I chair, which has met seven times since April. Our £62 million Energy Transition Fund, announced ahead of the UK Government’s deliberations, arose from those meetings and meets the industry’s asks of us. The fund helps protect existing jobs as well as create new employment across Scotland by opening up opportunities through energy transition and harnessing private sector funding as companies move from oil and gas to low carbon and renewable investments.

“It is anticipated that the fund will help lever in an overall funding package in excess of £900 million. In addition, in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic, our Strategic Leadership Group has worked to identify support for the sector, including opportunities in workforce retention, skills and training, drawing upon the efforts of Oil and Gas UK’s Steering Group and the OGA’s Supply Chain Taskforce.

“Public Health Scotland does not currently recommend testing of asymptotic workers prior to travel offshore because the 14-day incubation period would not remove the risk of people incubating the disease whilst becoming symptomatic while offshore.

“We continue to work closely with the UK Government, which retains many of the key levers needed to support the sector, to ensure both governments are doing all they can to protect jobs and retain vital skills. We support the industry’s Roadmap 2035, and delivery of a North Sea Transition Deal, that will complement our Energy Transition Fund to support common projects and decarbonise the remaining production in the North Sea as part of a sustainable, secure and inclusive energy transition.”


Already a subscriber? Sign in