Greenpeace has lost its court case, challenging the UK government’s decision to grant a permit to BP to drill the Vorlich field, in the North Sea.
The environmental group said that judges in Scotland’s highest court have ruled that the government’s decision to grant a permit was lawful, despite the fact that the government gave no consideration to the climate impact of burning the fossil fuels extracted.
Amongst other things, the judges concluded that it is not possible to assess emissions that result from burning oil and gas and that the UK is still reliant on oil and gas, referencing the current gas price crisis. The ruling also noted that it could not be argued that oil and gas has any material effect on climate change and that the matter is political, not legal.
“The government is celebrating a win for the fossil fuel industry after its lawyers argued in court that emissions from burning oil extracted by BP are ‘not relevant’ when granting an oil permit. And now the Prime Minister is poised to sign off even more oil if he approves a new oil field at Cambo – against official guidance from climate experts,” said John Sauven, Greenpeace UK executive director.
To remind, Greenpeace staged a major protest against BP in 2019, where activists blocked the company’s contracted rig for 12 days at sea on its way to the Vorlich field. The group said it will seek to launch an appeal before the Supreme Court.