THE world is burning around us, and allowing drilling in Rosebank will only make it worse. Monday saw the world’s hottest day on record. It underlined how high the stakes are.

The situation is getting more desperate with every passing day, yet anti-climate governments like the one in Downing Street are taking us backwards.

The Climate Change Committee’s report into the UK Government’s net zero progress made for extremely depressing reading. With more than 400 pages of detailed analysis, it could not have been more damning.

Denouncing a lack of urgency and leadership, the Committee’s Chair, Lord Deben, accused Downing Street of being “too slow to embrace cleaner, cheaper alternatives and too keen to support new production of coal, oil and gas.”

READ MORE: Keir Starmer U-turn on two-child benefit cap exposed in unearthed Twitter thread

The climate vandalism is about to get worse, with the imminent decision on new oil exploration in the Rosebank field, which would account for more than 300 million barrels of oil and more than 200m tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Despite the enormous environmental impact of such recklessness, UK ministers have made their support for the development clear. The Prime Minister himself, Rishi Sunak, went as far as claiming that it would make “absolutely no sense” not to go ahead with the drilling.

What could be more damaging and counterproductive? What could be worse for our environment?

There’s been no end of greenwashing, with Equinor, the company that is heading up the proposal, claiming that it will have the “lowest possible carbon footprint”.

How have we got to the point where oil company executives can keep a straight face and make these kinds of promises? Surely what would be far better for our environment is not to drill in the first place?

Rosebank has underlined the dangerous anti-climate consensus between the Westminster parties.

The National: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer takes part in a question and answer session with New Statesman deputy political editor Rachel Wearmouth, at London County Hall. Picture date: Tuesday June 27, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Labour. Photo credit

Last month, in a long-trailed and anticipated speech, Labour leader Keir Starmer announced that although his party would oppose new licences, they would not cancel any new ones that the Tories agreed to between now and then.

That means that even in the event of a Labour government, Rosebank and any other licences that the Tories support from here until election day would continue unabated. That’s not climate leadership, it’s surrender.

It’s the same surrender that underpins so much of Labour’s climate policies.

In the last few weeks alone they have also doubled down on nuclear and shelved their £28 billion renewables investment policy.

Previous Labour leaderships have waited until they were in power before breaking all of their promises, it seems Keir Starmer can’t even hold off for that long.

READ MORE: Wee Ginger Dug: Will the 'Twitter Killer' put us all out of our misery?

The reality is that halting climate-wrecking developments like Rosebank is only one part of the job. The bigger task is building a robust and clean renewables sector that can replace it.

One of the most important steps that we are taking in Scotland to further this vision is the creation of a £500m just transition fund for these communities. It will focus on retraining former oil and gas workers and encouraging the green industries and jobs of the future.

The Scottish Government’s draft energy policy took a huge step in a positive and green direction by being the first to presume against new fossil fuel developments.

It was a powerful and profound statement of intent that made Scotland one of the first countries with any kind of significant fossil fuel reserves to draw a line under this and accept that some of it needs to be left in the ground if we are to do our bit to keep our planet safe.

These are the sort of commitments that we need to see all over the UK and beyond.

Yet, this kind of vital green change is made far harder when the most important powers all lie with a broken Westminster system and a failing Tory government that has shown time and again that it has no intention of changing its ways.

The National: The Palace of Westminster

Just think about the cost of inaction. The world is already on fire. Watching the disaster unfold around us is like watching a horror film, only this time it’s real life and our terrible fate is an avoidable one.

If the drilling goes ahead, how can those who allow it to happen look future generations in the eye and tell them that it was worth it?

By the time that the last drop has been extracted, it will be too late for regrets.

How many more wake-up calls and warnings will it take?

Never before has there been so much information at our fingertips. Never before have the warnings been so well-founded and so stark.

Yet, despite all of it the Tories and their friends in the Labour Party remain committed to a “drill first, ask later” policy that is already doing irreversible damage.

Surely one of the most urgent and compelling arguments for independence is that it would give us the opportunity to halt Rosebank and stop the UK Government from using our own resources to pollute the world around us.