WORLD-FAMOUS climate activist Greta Thunberg has joined a protest against the UK Government’s reported plans to allow development of an oil field in Scottish waters.

While no decision has yet been issued on the Rosebank oil field, off Shetland, the Tories and UK regulators are widely expected to approve the development.

More than 500 million barrels of oil are expected to be taken from Rosebank during its lifetime, despite the UK Government’s own climate advisers saying that further fossil fuel development would be “utterly unacceptable”.

Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has also suggested it would honour any decision the Conservatives make on the oil field.

Thunberg, known around the world for sparking the Fridays for Future climate movement, joined a demonstration against any development outside Net Zero Secretary Grant Shapps’s (below) office on Friday.

The National: Grant Shapps

The Swedish climate activist said that a decision to approve Rosebank would be “deliberately destructive”.

“How can the British government even consider pressing ahead with new drilling when we can see what the burning of fossil fuels is doing to the climate and to people?” Thunberg said.

“The extreme weather events being experienced around the world right now is just a taste of what's to come if we don't get off fossil fuels.

“Given everything that we know and can now see with our own eyes, approving Rosebank would be a deliberately destructive act.”

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Thunberg also criticised the Norwegian government, which will profit from Rosebank as the major shareholder of the field’s operator, Equinor. Ithaca Energy, which is owned by the Israeli Delek Group, is also backing the Rosebank field.

Thunberg said: “Norway’s claim to be a climate leader is absurd while Equinor plans to open up new oil and gas projects, like Rosebank, around the world.”

READ MORE: Plans for 'world leading' carbon tax on Scotland's largest estates gains momentum

StopRosebank activist and writer Tori Tsui, speaking alongside Thunberg, said: “The damage we are seeing today is so immense that it is unthinkable that any government would want to send us further down this path.

“Rich, oil producing countries, like the UK and Norway, must lead and that leadership starts with putting an end to new oil and gas developments. There is no justification on earth for approving Rosebank.”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the United Nations, as well as scientists and campaigners, have warned there should be no new investment or production of oil and gas if the world hopes to reduce global temperatures or reach net zero targets by 2050.

The Scottish Government has been urged by Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland to speak out against Rosebank, while revealing the extent that the Norwegian state-owned firm has lobbied Scottish parliamentarians.

Figures compiled by FoE Scotland found that from after the 2021 Holyrood election until the end of 2022, Equinor met 13 times with MSPs, five of which were with government ministers.

Approval for the development of Rosebank had been expected before Westminster went into recess, but it was put on hold.

READ MORE: MSPs urged to oppose Rosebank after Anas Sarwar pledges to honour licence

Campaigners warn that, if approved, “the CO2 emissions from burning Rosebank's reserves would be equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of 28 of the world's lowest income countries”.

Rosebank is the largest undeveloped oil field in the UK.

Lauren MacDonald, from the StopRosebank campaign, said: “There is nothing ‘proportionate and pragmatic’ about opening up new oil fields, to use Rishi Sunak’s words.

It’s an extreme position in the context of the climate crisis.

“When you add to this that Rosebank won’t lower UK fuel bills, as it’s mostly oil for export, and the fact that the public is effectively stumping up 90% of the costs of developing the field because of the huge subsidies the industry gets, Rosebank makes zero sense.”