THE UK Government’s reaction to Shell pulling investment in the Cambo oil field shows exactly why Scotland needs independence.

In a huge win for environmental campaigners, the oil giant announced on Thursday it would be giving up its 30% stake in the crude oil field off the west coast of Shetland.

The oil field became a controversial topic after the UN warned of a “code red for humanity” after an IPCC report was released, and called for an end to oil and gas extraction to battle the climate crisis and rising global temperatures.

It was a surprise to no-one that commitments to phase out fossil fuels became watered down in the COP26 Glasgow agreement, with so many from the oil and gas lobby in attendance.

READ MORE: Cambo oil field: Shell's exit signals end of Scotland's fossil fuel age

And, the UK’s stubbornness to stick to the policy of Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) from the North Sea will only hold Scotland back in its bid to reach net zero.

But the reaction to the news around Cambo is a prime example of where the UK’s policy on fossil fuels is going wrong - because they refuse to make any changes despite the evidence right in front of them.

In fact, on the day Shell announced they were backing out of Cambo, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), who are in charge of approving the license for the field, released a Wells Insight Report which stated there is “significant resource potential remaining” in the UK continental shelf (UKCS).

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The report stated that over the past three years “more than half a million barrels of oil equivalent” have been discovered on the UKCS. There was no mention of climate change in the 20 page document.

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you the UK are sticking their head in the sand, when The National approached the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and asked if this would have any impact on the license that is under consideration by OGA.

We were given a blanket response.

READ MORE: Cambo oil field timeline: How did row develop before Shell exit?

Instead of addressing the issue, a faceless UK Government spokesperson said simply: “This is a commercial decision that has been taken independently by Shell.”

It’s a frequent tactic this Tory government uses, not addressing the question and hoping that the problem will somehow go away.

They don’t care about being on the right side of history, not if it affects their investments.

In Scotland, at least the SNP-Green co-operation deal was the first sign of a changing landscape, with the climate crisis playing a bigger part in Scottish politics than ever before.

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Nicola Sturgeon (pictured above) showed much-needed leadership by listening to activists who confronted her about Cambo and publicly changing her mind, stating in Holyrood it should not be given the “greenlight”.

It sends a massive signal and gives hope that we are moving in the right direction, showing another cavernous difference between the Scottish and UK Governments.

Yet with no powers over oil and gas licensing, Scotland is yet again stuck dealing with the consequences of the UK Government’s decisions.

And, the Scottish Tories are yet again toeing the line of their London masters. Their press release on the news of Shell’s departure took a pop at both Patrick Harvie, claiming he was “cheering job losses” in the North East, and Sturgeon, for apparently influencing Shell’s decision.

READ MORE: Question Time: Tory minister squirms when asked about Christmas parties

The North East isn’t safe in the hands of the Tories, and neither are the jobs that they claim they want to protect.

Their ignorance at the speed and resources required to transition these workers into renewable energy jobs is no small feat, and the significant drop of 200,000 jobs in the industry between 2014 and 2017 make it clear that propping up a dying industry will benefit no one.

In fact a study from OGUK earlier this year stated the industry only supports 71,500 jobs across Scotland.

There is no doubt that oil and gas is not going away today, tomorrow, or next week, but the writing is on the wall and those who think differently are in for a shock. Things can change quickly and there is no time for delay.

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We have to be innovative going forward, and untangle the hold fossil fuels have on our day to day lives.

The rhetoric in Scotland is changing. The case for a green, fair, independent Scotland with a booming renewable industry could win over soft-no voters who are undoubtedly losing faith in the UK due to the outpouring of Tory sleaze allegations.

What’s certain is we can’t leave this to the Tory UK Government, because all they will do is protect the status quo, their industry pals, and their wallets.