Stephen Daisley Stephen Daisley

The Scottish Greens’ oil crusade is coming unstuck

A climate protest at Grangemouth, Scotland's last oil refinery, which is due to close by 2025 (Credit: Getty images)

‘Well, well, well,’ as the meme goes. ‘If it isn’t the consequences of my own actions.’

The news that Grangemouth, Scotland’s last oil refinery, is to close by 2025, with hundreds of jobs thought to be at risk, has elicited statements of concern from across the political spectrum. But no one is likely to improve upon that from Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay, who posted on Twitter/ X:

There couldn’t be a more dazzling display of radical cluelessness. Mackay’s party, which is in government with Humza Yousaf’s SNP in Scotland, has made a crusade of harrying the oil and gas industry out of operation north of the border.

Earlier this month, when the King’s Speech confirmed an annual system of awarding oil and gas licences, the Scottish Greens accused the government of an ‘obsession for fossil fuels’ and said ‘the simple scientific fact is that new oil and gas licences are a disaster for our planet’s future’. The party condemned the Prime Minister for ‘his support of oil and gas during a climate crisis’.

In October, when Rishi Sunak announced 27 new oil and gas licences for the North Sea, Green environment spokesman Mark Ruskell MSP called it ‘an environmental disaster’, said there was ‘no sustainable future in endless oil and gas drilling’ and insisted we ‘urgently need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels’.

Greens are getting what they want but not the way they wanted

In September, co-leader Patrick Harvie, the minister for zero-carbon buildings in Yousaf’s government, gave a speech to the Scottish Renewables Heat Summit. He spoke of the need for an ‘urgent transition from the fossil fuel age’ and said moves away from oil and gas based heating were ‘an opportunity to liberate people from dependence on fossil fuels’.

The same month, Harvie’s co-leader Lorna Slater, also a Scottish government minister, issued a statement

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