‘Wave of Resistance’ rises with protests against Rosebank

From Shetland to Aberdeen and from Oban to Edinburgh, activists took to the sea in boats, kayaks and paddleboards to protest Rosebank, the UK’s largest undeveloped oil and gas field, and to express concern about the potential impact on Scotland’s marine life in the UK to bring The government gives the green light.

Grant Shapps is expected to make a decision shortly on whether or not to authorize Rosebank.

In Aberdeen, paddle boarders held a “paddle out” and wrote “Stop Rosebank” messages in the sand, while in Oban activists from the group Time for Change Argyll & Bute attended a beach cleanup and heard about local ocean restoration and protest action at the beach.

Activists alongside dozens of climate and marine organizations including Friends of the Earth Scotland, Surfers Against Sewage, Sea Shepherd UK and Greenpeace UK are calling for Equinor, Norway’s state-owned oil company, to halt its plans to develop Rosebank and for the UK government to reject the project .

The field contains hundreds of millions of barrels of oil that, if burned, would produce more CO2 emissions than the annual CO2 emissions of the world’s 28 low-income countries.

Izzy Ross, a Surfers Against Sewage Paddle Out protester from Aberdeen, said: “I’m taking part today along with surfers, divers and others from across the UK who live on the coast and I urge the Government to protect Britain’s seas protect and stop doing it.” Rosebank. We are finally beginning to appreciate the richness, diversity and importance of the waters of Britain and in particular the seas surrounding Scotland. Now is the time to protect and restore them, not continue to pollute and industrialize them for profits from the oil and gas industry. Rosebank will not help lower our bills or increase Britain’s energy security as most of its oil reserves are tankered and sold abroad. People are demanding that our politicians put the health of our oceans and amazing marine life first.”

Scott Herrett, Just Transition Organizer at Friends of the Earth Scotland, who took part in the paddling outing in Aberdeen, said: “Drilling for more oil and gas will cost us the Earth and continue to tie millions of people across the UK to priceless energy. It is.” It is time for Aberdeen to embark on a new direction towards clean renewable energy that has minimal impact on our marine life and can create long-term quality green jobs.

“Energy workers and the oil and gas communities must be at the center of managing this transition to ensure it meets their needs and preserves their capabilities. Climate action in the North East means making public transport more affordable and available and ensuring that every home is energy efficient, allowing us to reduce our energy needs and improve people’s lives.”

Rowan Aitchison, who organized the Oban protest as part of Time for Change Argyll & Bute, said: “Life by the sea is a big part of life in Argyll. We have a multitude of beautiful coastlines, beaches and islands that are home to an amazing variety of wildlife both on shore and in the sea. We all want our Argyll coastline and sea to continue to be enjoyed for years to come, and for generations to come to enjoy and live in harmony with it. For this to happen, we must stop climate change and ensure that the oil and gas industry does not continue to pollute our seas and damage marine ecosystems. The UK Government must now put a stop to Rosebank and all new oil and gas projects.”

Equinor says: “Rosebank is 130 kilometers west of the Shetland Islands. Equinor took over the operatorship in 2019 and is developing the field together with our partners. Rosebank is expected to produce 300 million barrels of oil over its lifetime. The field is under development.” Developed under the UK Government’s North Sea Transition Agreement, the project will bring much-needed energy security and investment to the UK while supporting the UK’s net zero target.”

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