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UK faces legal action against North Sea oil exploration plan | Oil

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The government faces the threat of legal action against plans to allow exploration in the Cambo oil field near Shetland after promising to suspend new oil exploration permits that do not align with Britain’s climate targets.

Greenpeace has threatened to take the government to court over the decision, which has sparked protests from climate experts and green activists across Scotland and the UK in recent weeks.

The Green Group, in a letter to business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, told the minister not to stamp a permit for the Cambo oil field, which could produce 170m barrels of oil and produce the equivalent of operating 16 coal-fired power plants. urged to year.

The approval risks undermining the UK government’s recent decision to ban new oil exploration licenses if oil drillers fail to pass climate checkpoint tests proving that fossil fuels are needed and can be produced with the smallest possible carbon footprint. There is this.

The Cambo project will not face the same scrutiny, in part because it is an extension of an existing oil field owned by private equity-backed oil explorer Siccar Point. Britain’s climate change minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said at a parliamentary committee meeting last month that the Cambo is not a new license and there are no new licenses this year.

Greenpeace also warned that approving the Cambo project could violate a Dutch court ruling that ordered Shell, which holds a 30% stake in the project, to cut emissions by 45% by the end of the decade from 2019 levels. Shell confirmed that it would appeal the court ruling.

Mel Evans, Head of Oil Campaigns at Greenpeace UKs said: Governments are signing new oil and are deliberately ignoring the carbon footprint of burning extracted oil.

If the UK government approves Cambo, we can torpedo the global opportunity to meet our climate goals and Boris Johnson will be a failure on the world stage at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, she said.

A government spokesperson said: There are no loopholes. The climate checkpoint applies to future oil and gas rounds, but the Cambo field was originally licensed in 2001. Although we are working hard to reduce the demand for fossil fuels, demand for oil and gas will continue over the next few years. , as recognized by the independent climate change committee.

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