Environmental campaigners have hit out at "reckless" plans to extract 20 million barrels of oil from the North Sea. 

The Oil and Gas Authority gave the green light to oil majors BP and Shell to bring two oil fields into production around 80 miles west of Shetland.

Production is expected to start in 2020.

However campaigners say that the Alligin development risks further damage to our climate.

Read more: £400m North Sea field developments approved as recovery gathers momentum

The news comes two weeks after a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPSS) gave the strongest warning yet of the dangers the world faces if drastic action is not taken to cut emissions.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon said: “This approval of this new North Sea oilfield for development by BP is a reckless decision that is incompatible with efforts to tackle climate change. This oil needs to stay under the seabed.

“The world cannot afford to burn even a fraction of the fossil fuels we already have, never mind approving the extraction of another 20 million barrels of oil.

“The strategy adopted by UK and Scottish Government’s of ‘maximising economic recovery’ from the North Sea means maximising destruction of the climate.

“The Scottish and UK Government need to work together to end further oil and gas exploration in the North Sea. They should be planning for a rapid and orderly transition away from fossil fuels in a way that is fair to the workers and communities currently dependent on these industries.”