LAST week marked six months since the signing of the Glasgow Agreement at COP26. This should have been a historic moment, where the world finally pulled back from the brink and kept the promise to stop global rising beyond 1.5 degrees.

Yet despite all the greenwashing from the UK Government, the commitments to rethink the role of North Sea oil and gas in the UK energy mix have quickly been forgotten.

The UN reported this week that global indicators of the climate crisis, such as rising sea levels, droughts and floods, broke records in 2021, and have directly contributed to the rising food prices which are exacerbating the cost of living crisis here in the UK.

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But Boris Johnson’s government has approved three new fossil fuel schemes since hosting the UN climate summit, including the Abigail oil and gas field off Scotland’s east coast in January with as many as 46 projects set to be approved before 2025.

These are just some of the hundreds of new fossil fuel projects proposed globally which have been dubbed “climate bombs” and, if realised, will cause our mutually assured destruction from climate change.

Oil and gas producing states around the world are claiming that their fossil fuels are the best and are needed to meet global demand, the result will be massive overproduction and dependency at a time when we need to accelerate transition.

Contrast the UK Government’s behaviour with that of the EU, where Governments have backed a £178 billion package to massively increase green energy over the next five years, to reduce our impact on the planet and end the continent’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

They know that every unit of cheap green electricity from wind and solar farms reduces gas use and directly cuts energy bills to households.

UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has written to oil and gas companies, promising to “remove obstacles to accelerate production”.

Fossil fuel companies do not need our help. Earlier this year Shell reported their highest ever quarterly profits, at £7.3bn, and are now pressurising the UK Government to approve the Jackdaw field off the coast of Aberdeen.

They’re also apparently reconsidering their announcement last year to back out of the Cambo oil field, amid the rising price of gas, which makes marginal fields like this more profitable. It’s clear that it’s the average consumer who’s bearing the brunt of the current extraordinary rise in energy prices, not the shareholders of Shell.

Those championing more extraction in the North Sea often use the language of a Just Transition, claiming we need further oil and gas to help wean us off our current dependency.

But there is nothing just about decisions which will continue to pour profits into the coffers of global oil and gas companies, whilst tying us into the volatile global fossil fuel market for generations. And there is certainly nothing just about permitting the extraction of more planet wrecking fossil fuels, whilst countries like India and Pakistan are already suffering record breaking heatwaves, causing suffering for millions of people and impacting global food supplies.

When the Scottish Greens and the SNP signed the Bute House Agreement last summer, oil and gas extraction was an area of intense negotiation between our two parties. We both agreed on the importance of the industry for jobs, especially in the north-east but the pace of transition away from fossil fuels was up for debate. I’m pleased that over the last year the First Minister has responded to both the science of climate change and our agreement by signalling a big shift that recognises the need to make the transition quicker and deeper.

Last year she recognised that maximum extraction in the North Sea is no longer an option, a major shift in the Scottish Government’s energy policy reflecting our calls to make the oil and gas sector work within the limits of the Paris Agreement. Yesterday, at First Minister’s Questions, she reconfirmed this and called for the UK Government to stop fast-tracking Jackdaw field and make all oil and gas licenses go through a proper climate compatibility checkpoint.

It’s clear that having Greens round the table shifts the conversation – Greens in government around the world, from New Zealand to Germany, are having a positive impact on their countries’ commitments to climate change, and here in Scotland it’s no different.

Last year in Glasgow, the Beyond Oil and Gas alliance was launched, a group of nations leading the way in phasing out oil and gas production. The Scottish Government met and held discussions with them, and the Greens in government we will continue to push for Scotland to become a member of this influential group.

We shouldn’t underestimate our influence as a small country. At COP26 we were the first country in the world to set up a fund for Loss and Damage, recognising that we owe a debt to those in the Global South who will suffer the most from climate change even though they have done the least to cause it.

The climate crisis is integrally linked to the other geopolitical crises we’re facing today, from the cost of food and energy, to the invasion of Ukraine. We cannot throw our climate ambitions under the bus in a short-term response – the consequences of this will be deadly.

To isolate Putin we must insulate homes, rapidly shifting our reliance away from oil and gas and ensuring everyone has a warm home they can afford to heat – and a planet that’s worth living on.