The final chapter for North Sea oil

Journal: 
Issue: 
Spring 2018

To keep to two degrees of global warming requires leaving 80 per cent of known fossil fuel deposits unburnt. A decision is therefore needed about which deposits to leave where they are, and North Sea oil, reserves of which are in any case running out, is a strong candidate for being left. This should be accomplished through using some of the remaining revenue generated by the oil to secure a just transition before closing down the pipelines. In other words, there should be a (Scottish) state- managed solution to the problem of the inevitable collapse of the industry. Market- based solutions to climate change will not work: they leave decisions in the hands of oil companies that will go bankrupt if they do not exploit their reserves, and will abandon workers when sources dry up.

Soundings 68: Grit, oil and grime