Emily Thornberry Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury
Thank you for contacting me about your opposition to the new Cambo oil field in the North Sea. I have been contacted by a large number of my constituents about this proposal and I wanted to set out to you my own views on this matter below.
As you know, the Labour Party has called for Cambo to be scrapped. Responding to the climate crisis means that we must be ambitious. If we want to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, we cannot continue to rely on fossil fuels for our energy.
Disappointingly, Ministers already look set to miss this 2050 target that Parliament legislated for just over a year ago. What’s more, they are not even on track to meet the less ambitious goal that preceded it.
It is clear that 2050 is too late for the UK to end its contribution to climate breakdown and runway global heating. According to the UN, we have less than ten years left to avoid the worst impacts of catastrophic climate change. I have spoken out about the urgent action that is required when it comes to climate change over the past 15 years as an MP. The UK government needs to act with far greater urgency and ambition.
I was proud to stand on a bold and radical plan to tackle the climate crisis in the 2019 General Election. It is bitterly disappointing that Labour cannot enact this vision in government.
Having seen first-hand the role that the UK can play in leading a global strategy to tackle climate change when I attended COP 15 in Copenhagen back in 2009, I am disappointed that the government are failing to take the opportunity it has to show real global leadership in tackling the climate crisis, especially as we approach COP 26, which the UK is hosting in Glasgow later this year.
If the UK government was to go ahead with its plans to create a new oil field in the North Sea, our international credibility would be undermined ahead of COP 26, which is set to be such a crucial moment in our fight against the climate crisis.
I can assure you that I and my Labour colleagues will continue to press the government on this proposal. In the Labour Party, we recognise the importance of a green recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic. In my view, a new Cambo oil field would represent the exact opposite.
Thank you again for your email about the important issue. I will continue to watch developments on this matter closely – I understand that, if the government approves a permit for the proposal to go ahead, Greenpeace have said that they will mount a legal challenge.
If you have any other points you would like to raise with me, you are welcome to do so.
The Rt Hon. Emily Thornberry MP
Islington South and Finsbury
Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade