Gen Z Scot Speaks Truth to Oil Barons

May 14, 2023

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Norwegian Oil company Equinor, Lauren MacDonald is a warrior poet we need right now.

City AM:

Climate groups have urged the government not to approve the Rosebank project, one of the largest undeveloped oil and gas fields in the North Sea.

This follows warnings from campaign group Uplift that the projected emissions from producing oil at Rosebank alone would be enough to exceed the share of the UK’s carbon budgets that should come from oil and gas production from 2028 onwards.

Activists are raising concerns over its potential carbon emissions and questioning whether it would have any effect on easing record household energy bills.

Charlie Kronick, senior climate advisor for Greenpeace UK, told City A.M. greenlighting the development would be a “huge mistake” as it would “blow the UK’s carbon budget, seriously undermining the climate as well as our legal commitment to net zero”.

Commenting on the commercial realities of the project, he said: “Like 80 per cent of all North Sea oil, the majority of Rosebank’s production will likely be exported and then sold back to us – doing nothing to help energy security.  

“The profits will then go to the oil and gas companies that own Rosebank’s reserves, including Equinor. Equinor already pays an overall tax rate of 78 per cent at home in Norway. Why should they pay a lower rate in the UK?”

Fiona Duggan, policy lead at climate charity Ashden, called on the government to ditch investment relief in the windfall tax to make such projects less viable for oil and gas companies.

She said: “If the government wants to help consumers reduce their bills, it makes no sense to give tax breaks to fossil fuel companies to open new oil fields in the North Sea. It is a terrible waste of taxpayer funds when we know that any oil and gas that is produced in UK waters gets sold at international market prices.”


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