NICOLA Sturgeon has been told to “get off the fence” and oppose controversial plans for a new oil field near Shetland.

The Cambo oil field plans, proposed by Shell and Siccar Point Energy, will be considered by the UK Government, which has suggested it supports the plans.

But the plans have faced a backlash on environmental grounds – given both Scotland and the UK committing to become net zero by the middle of the century.

A stark report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published on Monday, warned that immediate action is now needed from all governments to cut carbon emissions in order to salvage efforts to limit global warming below a dangerous tipping point.

The International Energy Agency's recommendation for no further expansion of oil and gas projects. Following the publication of the IPCC document, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said “This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet."

But the Scottish Government has refused to categorically oppose the plans, stating that any support for fossil fuel extraction “is conditional upon them contributing to a sustainable and inclusive energy transition”.

Scottish Labour’s net zero spokesperson, Monica Lennon, has now written to the First Minister, calling on her to prove she is “paying attention” to the stark climate warnings and oppose the Cambo plans.

In the letter, Ms Lennon said: “Despite the lack of leadership from ministers in the UK and Scottish governments, the people-powered Stop Cambo campaign is gaining momentum. This is thanks to the courage and passion of citizens across Scotland and beyond.

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“They deserve to know that our political leaders understand the science and are paying attention.

“First Minister, they need you to use your voice and influence to oppose Cambo. Workers and communities need to see that the Scottish Government is actively working to deliver a just transition to a green economy and has a credible energy plan.

“For the sake of our planet, I am asking the Scottish Government to join with Scottish Labour and campaigners in opposing the Cambo oil field. Please advise when you will be making your position on Cambo known to the public.

At the weekend, Ms Sturgeon was confronted by young climate activists who pressed her over the Cambo plans and the lack of opposition from the Scottish Government.

Ms Lennon said: “Nicola Sturgeon must get off the fence and oppose the Cambo oil field plans.

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“The fate of our planet and future generations depends on the actions of our governments today.

“Hiding behind Boris Johnson isn’t an option.

“With the eyes of the world on Scotland as COP26 nears, it’s embarrassing that SNP and Tory ministers are not doing all they can to avert climate catastrophe.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are wholly committed to becoming a net-zero economy by 2045 and, whilst this is ultimately a reserved area, any Scottish Government support for oil and gas businesses operating in the North Sea is conditional upon them contributing to a sustainable and inclusive energy transition, and ensuring a secure energy supply.

“The oil and gas sector can play a positive role in Scotland’s energy transition, helping to design the diverse energy system we need for the future.

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“The knowledge and experience of the oil and gas sector and its supply chain will also be important for developing and investing in essential low carbon technologies, such as carbon capture utilisation and storage – a technology that is seen by experts such as the UK Climate Change Committee and International Energy Agency as being vital to achieving Scottish, UK and international climate emissions targets.

“In 2020 we launched our £62 million energy transition fund to support the oil, gas and energy sectors grow and diversify, accelerating its transition to net-zero emissions.

“Fair work principles are being applied across projects funded by the energy transition fund, supporting the creation of green jobs and training individuals with the skills they need to ensure a just transition to net-zero with people’s wellbeing at its heart.”