Protesters confront Nicola Sturgeon over failure to oppose Cambo oil field

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Young people protesting against the Cambo North Sea oilfield confronted Nicola Sturgeon as she attended a carnival in her Glasgow Southside constituency.

Scotland’s first minister was cornered by young protesters from the Green New Deal Rising and the Stop Cambo campaign.

If given the go-ahead, the Cambo site could yield as many as 255m barrels of oil over its lifetime, according to environmental campaigners.

And that much oil could produce as much as 132m tonnes of CO2 emissions. Campaigners estimated that this would require an area of land some 1.5 times the size of Scotland to counteract.

Non-committal

Campaigners confronted Sturgeon in Queen’s Park at the Govanhill Carnival and asked if she will oppose the oil field.

She replied:

Look, I’m not going to stand here – it’s not an issue for the Scottish Government. We are thinking about all of these things, we are trying to come to the right decision. There’s no doubt we should be moving away.

So there are hard questions to ask about whether things like that are commensurate and I totally get that. There are tough things for all of us to address and make decisions on.

A campaigner told Sturgeon she was disappointed that the first minister would not commit to opposing the oil field. To this, Sturgeon responded:

You can have a politician that says to you what you want to hear, because you are standing here, or you can have a politician that says I do hear what you say, and I’ve got a lot of sympathy with it but there’s issues as First Minister I’ve got to make sure that I properly consider.

And that’s what I’m choosing to do.

“I am genuinely terrified for my future”

Speaking after the incident, campaigner Lauren MacDonald, 20, who challenged Sturgeon, said:

We are hosting Cop26 in my home city this year, yet Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson both have taken nowhere near enough action to meet the commitments already set.

The Scottish government can’t call itself a climate leader without opposing the Cambo oil field. How can we trust our governments to tackle the climate crisis when time and time again they refuse to take meaningful action to mitigate its effects?

She added:

I am genuinely terrified for my future. It makes me so frustrated that when I confront the leader of my country, she refuses to commit to taking action to safeguard the lives of her citizens.

If we have any hope of mitigating the climate crisis and seeing a fairer society in Scotland, we need a just transition out of oil and gas immediately. We need a Green New Deal now that delivers good green jobs.

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