CLIMATE activist Greta Thunberg has spoken out as the UK Government looks set to give the green light to a new oilfield in the North Sea - while preparing to host COP26 climate summit later this year. 

Questioned on the controversy over plans for the new Cambo oil field west of Shetland, she said: “I think that maybe summarises the whole situation we are in – the fact that these kind of countries who are actually hosting the Cop is planning to actually expand fossil fuel infrastructure, to open up new oil fields, and so on.

“But also it’s a bit strange that we are talking about single individual oil fields.

“It’s not just that we need to stop future expansions. We also need to scale down existing ones if we are to have a chance of avoiding the worst consequences.”

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Development work at the site of the proposed Cambo oil field has been delayed until next year. 

But environmental campaigners have already warned that the Cambo site could yield as many as 255 million barrels of oil, and the estimated 132m tonnes of CO2 emissions that could be produced would require an area of land 1.5 times the size of Scotland to counteract them.

Thunberg, 18, was also asked about the Scottish Government’s new powersharing deal with the Scottish Greens which will bring Green representatives into government for the first time in the UK.

Thunberg told the broadcaster: “Of course there might be some politicians that are slightly less worse than others. That was very mean, but you get the point.

“It’s a hopeful sign that people want something that’s more ‘green’ – whatever ‘green’ means – but in order to solve this, we need to tackle this at a more systemic approach.”

Greta Thunberg was not impressed with the proposals

Having returned to school after a year out leading young people in school strikes for climate change, Thunberg said the conference falls in her school holidays, and if she does attend she plans to travel by train.

On whether the conference should be in person or virtual, she said: “We get much more results when we meet in person, it’s hard to argue against that, but of course if it’s not considered safe then we have to go for the safest option.

“To be honest, I don’t think that either one will lead to much results. A physical meeting will probably bring more results, but still nowhere close to what’s needed.”