UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has given the go-ahead for one of the biggest new oil and gas projects Britain has seen in years.
The Rosebank oil and gas field is funded by British firm Ithaca Energy and with a stake majority being held by Norwegian energy giant Equinor.
Located 80 miles northwest from Shetland and holding roughly 300 million barrels of oil, the Rosebank is officially the UK’s biggest untapped oil and gas field.
Debates have sparked around Rosebank’s approval, with aims to push the UK government to rethink the new fossil fuel project due to its impact on climate change.
Those against the newly approved Rosebank oil and gas field have taken differing platforms to express their discontent including protests, leafletting, and campaigns. A member of the public exclaimed on X they are “fighting for today and tomorrow” by attending the protests organised and spreading awareness.
The website #StopCambo promotes a campaign against Rosebank consisting of individuals, grassroots groups, and organisations across Scotland and the rest of the world.
Zach Polanski, Green Party deputy leader, established they are “not just here in anger” but they are “also here in hope” in likelihood that public opinion could help stop the scheme.
As he expands further that Rosebank will not help sustain a future as “the only liveable future we can have is one where fossil fuels stay in the group”, emphasising on the climate struggles this project will raise.
Uplift’s executive director Tessa Khan claims that Sunak “couldn’t care less about climate change” and that the decision to approve this is “unlawful”. The anti-Rosebank group points out the government’s failure to assess the full environmental impact and incompatibility with the nation’s climate targets. Alongside current MP’s, like Caroline Lucas who thinks it is a terrible idea and advocates the switch to renewable energy.
Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green’s environmental spokesperson states an urgency for climate action and the need to leave the “North Sea oil and gas in the ground”, as he focuses on Scotland’s independent demands
Equinor, co-owner of Rosebank, acknowledges and respects the widened public debate about the oil and gas field yet they believe there are “sound and rational reasons for developing Rosebank”.
What Does Rosebank Bring to the U.K.?
The new construction is estimated to create a minimum of 450 long-term jobs and during construction 1,600 opportunities for employment.
It is said that the U.K.’s energy supply would be extremely safe, as the total lifetime production would meet the nation's demands for seven months. In addition, it is argued that these reserves will give the UK energy security and help lower bills which has been a major issue since autumn 2021.
Supporters of the new oil and gas project exclaim its vitality for energy security as it will reduce reliance on exports that the country is currently experiencing, with Sunak expressing that this was “absolutely the right thing to do” for the United Kingdom’s future.
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