Scottish Greens will 'carry the can' for SNP says Cole-Hamilton

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Sir Ian Wood condemned the SNP-Green pact which would see oil and gas licences for extraction reviewed rather than scrapped, threatening the future of the industry. Sir Ian, a key figure in the Better Together campaign ahead of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, claimed a complete shutdown of the North Sea sector would be “detrimental environmentally”.

The unionist tycoon also stressed the move would destroy 71,000 well-paid Scottish jobs.

Sir Ian said new oil fields were necessary to avoid imports from countries with far less strict environmental regulations.

He added: “If we do that we will damage the environment. If we don’t have our own oil and gas we’ll have to import it, because we just don’t have any other resources.

“It would be, frankly, absolutely crazy.

“Right now there are 71,000 jobs in oil and gas in Scotland.

“These jobs would go. Not only that, we’d have a massive balance of payments issue as well.”

Liam Kerr MSP, Scottish Conservative spokesperson for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, said: “This is yet more evidence that shows the coalition of chaos is so out of step with what needs to happen for a successful energy transition.

“The SNP-Green Government is rife with opponents of the oil and gas industry who want to push for an end to North Sea production which is totally unfeasible.

“Sir Ian Wood rightly says thousands of sector jobs would be lost, impacting livelihoods in the process.

“This nationalist coalition is all about dividing Scotland and pushing for indyref2 – not benefiting the climate.

“They will wreck Scotland’s recovery from Covid while hammering hardworking families with their anti-jobs, anti-business ideology.”

Greenpeace spokesman Mel Evans described Sir Ian’s comments as “a load of rubbish”.

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She added: “We export 80 percent of the oil produced in the UK, so claiming new oil is needed for our own supply is misleading.”

The environmentalist group oppose the proposed new Cambo oilfield to the west of Shetland.

Ms Sturgeon urged the UK Government to “reassess” the plan but the Greens want it scrapped altogether.

In response, an SNP spokesman said the proposed deal with the Greens would not alter their commitment to “a just transition to net-zero so that no industry or community is left behind”.

A Scottish Greens spokesman said party members, who will vote on Saturday on whether to approve the SNP deal, had the chance to back “a transformational cooperation agreement”.

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