September 6, 2021

Fossil Free London brings #StopCambo to Parliament

Conservative MPs urged to join calls to stop Cambo oil field

Climate activists from Fossil Free London gathered outside Parliament today to demand that MPs urge the Prime Minister to reject the proposed Cambo oil field development, which is co-owned by Shell and Siccar Point Energy, and support a just transition away from fossil fuels.

Photo credit: João Daniel Pereira

In particular, Conservative MPs are being asked to lend their voice to growing opposition to the Cambo plans as they return from their summer recess. 

Keir Starmer announced that the Labour Party would not support Cambo earlier this month [1]. The Scottish Green Party also described the proposal as "catastrophic", [2] and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to reassess the Cambo development. [3]

Influential international figures have also put pressure on Boris Johnson to halt the plans. Last month, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, said the UK government should “measure the need for [the Cambo oil field] very, very carefully”. [4] The head of the International Energy Agency, Dr Fatih Birol, said that halting Cambo would be an “important step” in the UK government’s bid to inspire climate action ahead of COP26 in Glasgow. [5] Scientists behind the UN’s recent ‘code red’ IPCC report have also sounded the alarm over the plans for Cambo. [6]

Robin Wells of Fossil Free London, which organised the protest, commented: “We urgently need Conservative MPs to listen to their constituents and take these climate concerns to the Prime Minister. Boris Johnson isn’t listening to the growing chorus of voices against Cambo saying that he wasn’t aware of the plans, followed by the government wrongly claiming it has no power to intervene in the decision.” 

She added: “The Prime Minister doesn’t seem to have heard UN chief, Antonio Guterres when he said the latest IPCC report ‘must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet’, or the IEA when it called for no new investment in oil and gas if we’re to hit safe climate targets. But we know he listens to his backbench MPs and so we are asking them to convey the message that there can be no new North Sea oil and gas developments if we are to maintain a liveable climate, starting with Cambo.”

Photo credit: João Daniel Pereira

Climate activist, Joanna Warrington, said: “MPs need to tell Boris to put an end to fossil fuel investment in the North Sea and seriously invest in clean energy and jobs. We should be spending money on supporting workers and building a green economy, not on new fossil fuels.”

Over half of Westminster MPs have so far been contacted by constituents calling on them to urge Boris Johnson to reject the plans for Cambo. The letter writing campaign follows an 80,000 strong petition to stop Cambo that was delivered to Downing Street last month. 

If given the green light, Cambo oil field would produce 150-170 million barrels of crude oil between 2025 and 2050, with plans for further production beyond that, making the project’s carbon footprint equivalent to running 18 coal fired power stations for a year. [7] The project would undermine the court ruling which ordered Shell to cut emissions by 45% by 2030 compared with 2019 levels. [8]