OIL AND GAS POLICY ‘PUTS THOUSANDS OF JOBS AT RISK’
Business leaders have written a joint open letter to party leaders calling for a “reasoned debate” over the future of oil and gas in the UK.
The letter says any statements calling for an end to new exploration have shaken investor confidence, placing tens of thousands of jobs at risk.
It warns politicians against creating a “hostile investment environment”.
The letter, from Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, supported by The British Chambers of Commerce and Scottish Chambers of Commerce, has also been signed by 58 leading figures from business and civic life in Aberdeen.
It says the economic wellbeing of whole communities across the UK is also being put at risk.
The letter adds that the statements calling for an end to new exploration “threaten the very basis of a fair and inclusive transition at the most crucial point in our collective journey to a net-zero society”.
“A transition, by definition, is a change of state over time,” it says.
“This is one of the most complex challenges we have faced in our history and it doesn’t lend itself to a simple, ‘Who’s good, who’s bad? Who’s green, who’s not?’ approach.
“We must now pause and allow for a reasoned debate about our energy future to take place. At the same time, we urge politicians to reflect carefully on their public statements on oil and gas and the impact they have on investment in the industry.
“We must not create an adverse policy environment at this crucial moment in our energy transition journey.”
The letter adds that by 2050, the International Energy Agency projects that global oil and gas demand will fall by 80%, but 20 million barrels per day will still be needed.
“Therefore, there is no current future scenario where there is not a requirement for some oil and gas,” it says.
“Meantime, it continues to be required for people to travel, heat and power their homes and for the manufacture of many everyday goods.”
Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have a shared interest in getting to net zero as quickly as possible, but over recent months our region has been portrayed as part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
“The reality is that the skills, people, and experience embedded in the north-east of Scotland have quietly been leading the way in moving the UK towards its net-zero targets, without any intervention from COP26.”