THE Greens will call on MSPs to map out a fossil free future for Scotland and stand against developing the Rosebank oil field off Shetland in a debate on Wednesday.

Mark Ruskell, the party's environment spokesperson, will say there is no sustainable future in North Sea oil and gas and will challenge Labour and the Tories to stop “grandstanding” and call for meaningful action of the type outlined in the Scottish Government’s draft energy strategy, which includes a presumption against all new oil and gas developments.  

And on the back of Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar suggesting a Labour government would honour a licence for the Rosebank oil field if it is granted by the Tories, Ruskell will insist the plans cannot go ahead in any form if Scotland is to meet its climate obligations.

The Green MSP will say: “The time for political grandstanding is over. The time for urgent climate action is now. There is no credible future in oil and gas, and it is our duty as politicians to map out the alternative. 

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“A responsible government and parliament must grapple head-on with that challenge, securing a well-managed, supported and just transition for all working in the sector, particularly those communities in the North East. 

“Our choice now is whether we accept a slow withering of skills and expertise, or we grasp the opportunity and ensure we maximise the expansion of jobs in renewables and supporting sectors. That’s why the draft Energy Strategy covers the many renewable technologies that will form Scotland’s future energy mix: wind, green hydrogen, solar, hydroelectric, wave and tidal.

“Infuriatingly, the power over our future still lies in the hands of a UK Government, who retain control of licensing and who would prefer to sell out the North East’s chance of a stable transition to maximise short-term shareholder profiteering, and there’s no guarantee an incoming Labour government would be any better."

On Tuesday, Sarwar told ITV Border that a Labour government would honour all oil and gas licences granted by the Tories after Keir Starmer said he would ban new licences for for oil and gas in the North Sea.

A decision on whether to allow drilling at the Rosebank oil field is expected soon. 

Sarwar said there would be no "cliff edge", adding oil and gas would be play a role "for decades to come".

However, he stressed the future for energy supply lies in hydrogen, wind, carbon capture and nuclear. 

Ruskell will add: "Rosebank is not a footnote here - it is the single largest undeveloped oil field in our waters, equivalent to 500 million barrels of oil.

"The emissions from Rosebank alone would be enough to blow the UK’s carbon budgets out of the water in the decades ahead.  Saying no to new oil and gas means saying no to Rosebank too, or our climate commitments are meaningless. What will it be, Labour? 

"Our society lies at a critical juncture. Less than two years ago we all united over COP26 in Glasgow and committed to keeping 1.5 alive.

"So it is beyond frustrating today to see the lack of unity in this chamber when discussing the unequivocal scientific evidence showing we must leave North Sea oil and gas in the ground."