NICOLA Sturgeon has been accused of being “Boris Johnson’s spin-doctor” on oil and gas as she prepares to woo Arctic leaders in Iceland with a climate change speech.
The Scottish First Minister will speak at the Arctic Circle Assembly to build links with Arctic nations and stress how all countries must work together to tackle the climate emergency. Ms Sturgeon is expected to meet leading Scandinavian leaders at the crunch summit, chaired by former Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.
Ahead of a two-day trip to Reykjavik on Thursday, Ms Sturgeon said on Wednesday Scotland must “be careful” not to leave communities behind as it transitions away from oil and gas.
Giving a Ted Talk in Edinburgh on Wednesday, the First Minister also again refused to voice opposition to the Cambo oil field development proposed near Shetland which has proven controversial with politicians and environmental campaigners alike.
Ms Sturgeon stressed the supply of oil and gas cannot be turned off completely in the short term because that may lead to a spike in imports, as well as economic problems caused by mass lay-offs.
She also repeated calls for licences to extract oil and gas from the North Sea to be reassessed by the UK Government given the current threat of climate change.
Commenting on the trip, Scottish Labour’s Net Zero and Energy Transport spokesperson, Monica Lennon MSP, said: “Nicola Sturgeon appears to have taken on a new role as Boris Johnson’s spin doctor.
“Nicola Sturgeon needs to get off the fence and shout from the rooftops about the damage Cambo would do.
“Cop26 is around the corner, and time is running out to persuade Boris Johnson to do the right thing.
“It is utterly shameless for the First Minister to pay lip service to a just transition for workers when her own government has barely lifted a finger to make it a reality.”
The proposed Cambo oil field off Shetland could produce 150 million barrels of oil and would operate until 2050 when Britain has pledged to be carbon neutral.
The UK Government looks set to go ahead with the plans while Ms Sturgeon refused to show clear opposition to the project.
This is despite a report commissioned by UK ministers ahead of the Cop26 climate change conference which said there should be “no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects”.
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