“NO New Oil” is the mantra of many environmentalists and they often quote International Energy Agency (IEA) statements in support of this.

It seems to me that there is no argument in favour of the absolute banning of all oil exploration. For example, consider Japan: a country with no oil of its own, and a huge energy importer. If Japan were to discover a large new reserve of oil just off its shore, would it refrain from extraction of that oil in favour of shipping crude in super tankers from Saudi Arabia? I don’t think so and, if the Green Party were to tell them that the science says “No New Oil”, I think the retort would be the Japanese equivalent of “Hawd yer wheesht” and “Yer bum’s oot the windae”.

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Anyway, from what I can see, the IEA is now much less unequivocal than it was in the past, with an update from them as recently as September 2023 containing the following paragraph:

“In the updated net zero scenario, a huge policy-driven ramping up of clean energy capacity drives fossil fuel demand 25% lower by 2030, reducing emissions by 35% compared with the all-time high recorded in 2022. By 2050, fossil fuel demand falls by 80%. As a result, no new long-lead-time upstream oil and gas projects are needed. Neither are new coal mines, mine extensions or new unabated coal plants. Nonetheless, continued investment is required in some existing oil and gas assets and already approved projects. Sequencing the increase in clean energy investment and the decline of fossil fuel supply investment is vital if damaging price spikes or supply gluts are to be avoided.”

So, the SNP’s stance on granting of new licences is pretty much in keeping with the IEA’s view, unless that has changed from last September.

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A cautionary note for the SNP is the IEA’s reference to “price spikes and supply gluts”. For, although most North Sea crude oil is of the light, sweet variety, packed full of easily refined diesel, and within a day or two’s sailing of most European refineries, its production costs would threaten closures in the event of a price collapse.

If there is to be a just transition, therefore, it best be delivered urgently and therein lies another reason for independence now, and not in 2026 or beyond. Waiting that long is far too risky.

Alan Adair

AMIDST all the pre-election drivel pouring from politicians’ mouths, only one of them seems to talk sense: Patrick Harvie (No retreat on oil and gas when it comes to climate, Jun 7).

Kate Forbes wants a climate compatibility test before considering opening new oil fields, and John Swinney tells us the windfall tax on polluters has gone too far. Neither of them seems to realise we are already 20 years too late in hoping to prevent floods pouring down the streets of cities built on flood plains, or droughts cutting off food production in areas beloved by holiday-makers.

READ MORE: Alba furious as SNP candidate says party could keep oil and gas stance

The first signs of polar melts redistributing the weight of water around the planet is its effects on the Pacific Ocean and geological movements around the Ring of Fire. Planetary warming is accelerating, major impacts are already in motion.

Playing with the planet’s resources must be drastically reduced by international efforts. Don’t depend on Labour or least of all the Tories. Study your July voting paper carefully to make it count.

Iain R Thomson

“WE’RE being robbed blind” – the conclusion of Leah Gunn Barrett in her recent excellent letter to The National (Jun 7). Scotland has been the UK food bank, financially and economically, for far too long, subsidising the Unionist misgovernment and their egotistical projects.

Their fear of independence was amplified this week during a Tory two-minute broadcast, when D Ross mentioned the SNP 19 times in derogaTORY terms.

Food banks have sadly become a norm for millions of people in the UK, due to the failure of Westminster policies. We can only eradicate this in Scotland by reclaiming our natural assets to achieve a fair and equal society for everyone.

Sandy Coghill
Isle of Skye

THE true scandal of what is being permitted in Gaza is that the decent countries of the world (from this group I omit both UK and USA) are sitting on their hands and mouthing platitudes. The carnage in Gaza could be halted within a matter of days were the decent countries of the world to sever all ties with the unpleasant little terrorist state that is Israel.

No trade, no over flights, no diplomatic or cultural interactions, no cargo to or from to have passage through controlled waters.

READ MORE: Benny Gantz quits Israeli war cabinet over Netanyahu’s plans for Gaza

I believe that were that I to pertain, the genocidal attacks would stop within a week. Then would be the time for decent countries to bang heads together in the Levant.

I have studied Palestine from Exodus to date in some depth, and of one thing I am certain: the God in whom I believe never handed out any property to anyone.

R Mill Irving
Gifford, East Lothian