Greenpeace UK Loses Legal Bid to Revoke Permit for Oil Drilling Off Scotland
LONDON (Sputnik) – The environmental campaign group Greenpeace UK on Thursday lost its legal challenge to have the UK government's decision to allow British Petroleum to drill for oil at a field in the North Sea revoked.
In a written statement issued by Scotland's Court of Session following a two-day hearing last month, judge Colin MacLean (Lord Carloway) rejected the claims against the exploitation of the Vorlich field off Scotland, arguing that they were "overwhelmingly technical and unconvincing."
"The argument is, in any event, an academic one. It is not maintained that the exploitation of the Vorlich field would increase, or even maintain, the current level of consumption. Unless it did so, it is difficult to argue that it would have any material effect on climate change," the judge presiding the court said.
Lord Carloway also argued that although Greenpeace UK’s aspiration is for the oil extraction to cease, "it did not appear to be contended that the UK economy is not still reliant in a number of different ways on the consumption of oil and gas."
"At present, a shortage of oil and gas supplies is a matter of public concern," he added.
Greenpeace UK, which said it will appeal to the Scottish Supreme Court, had brought the government to trial claiming that it had failed in its legal duty to check what impact the drilling would have on climate change.
The Vorlich oil field, whose production has been estimated at 30 million barrels, is located 241 kilometers (150 miles) east off the city of Aberdeen.