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What is Cambo?
The Cambo heavy crude field is located off the coast of Shetland in the north sea. It is one of the deepest oil fields to be discovered in northern Europe and is located across 1,100m of water. The cambo oil field is owned by Shell and private equity firm Siccar Point energy. The oil giants have requested permission from the UK government to open the field, and start by drilling for 150 million barrels of oil, their goal is to drill until 2050 for 800 million barrels of oil in total. The UK MUST stop burning fossil fuels well before this if we want to preserve our planet. The oil field was discovered in 2002, in 2017 Siccar Point acquired a 100% operating interest in the field and brought Shell UK in as a partner in May 2018.
Why is it so bad?
Drilling for oil creates an obscene amount of greenhouse gasses which is part of the cause of global warming and the climate crisis. The UK government alongside 195 other parties signed the Paris agreement back in 2015 at COP21, which promises to reduce global emissions and to halt global temperatures rising above 1.5 degrees by not allowing any new coal, gas or oil developments. Denmark and France have both agreed to ban new oil exploration licences. There seems to be a ‘loophole’ with the Cambo oil field because it was part of a previously licenced project.
What’s happening now?
Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed he was ‘not aware’ of the Cambo oil field decision, when handed a petition signed by 80k people who want to #stopcambo at no. 10. Cambo could be given approval by the PM before the world leaders meet at COP26 in Glasgow, this November. We need to act now and raise awareness before the operation is approved by the prime minister.
According to the International Energy Agency ‘to limit warming to 1.5ºC, there must be no new oil, gas or coal developments. We have to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Instead we should be winding down production of oil and gas and ensuring a just transition for oil and gas workers and impacted communities.’ said in May of this year.
Who’s leading the charge?
The #stopcambo campaign has spread across social media with climate activists getting involved such as Mikaela Loach @mikaelaloach who handed the petition with 80k signatures to downing street earlier this month. Gina Martin @ginamartin posted her #stopcambo campaign back in July, directing her following to the @stopcambo page that are coordinating the campaign. Aja Barber @ajabarber reminded us all “Don’t give into climate doom” – encouraging us to take action instead of collapse under the pressure. Parents for future UK were also at downing street, handing over the petition, holding a sign saying ‘Give our kids a chance! No new fossil fuels now’ you can follow them at @parentsforfuture_uk. Friends of the earth organised the petition for no.10 and they now have an open letter you can sign here
What can you do?
Make your own sign and post it on social media to raise awareness
Sign the open letter from Friends of the earth here
Email your MP about it here
Follow this link to the @stopcambo linktree for more resources including a social media toolkit and further reading to find out more.
Written by Olivia Riley