The pause in development of the Cambo oil field in the North Sea is a victory for climate campaigners.
Siccar Point Energy, the firm behind the oil field, said that since the withdrawal of funds from oil giant Shell, the project couldn’t progress on its “original timescale”.
This victory shows it’s possible to push back against the fossil fuel giants and governments that support them. It should encourage more resistance.
That’s not how Gary Smith, the general secretary of the GMB union, sees it. He said, “The cheerleaders for Cambo’s shutdown aren’t just throwing energy workers under the bus, but also our security of supply for the gas we will still need on the road to 2050.” Union leaders like Smith wrongly cling to the idea of protecting polluting industries.
But the only way to stop environmental destruction is to stop extracting and burning fossil fuels. And it doesn’t have to mean workers in fossil fuel industries losing their livelihoods. Instead, they should be offered safer and greener jobs—perhaps in renewable energy.
But some union leaders think this idea is outlandish and prefer to support the oil and gas bosses rather than attempt to fight for better jobs.
In the face of environmental destruction, workers should celebrate every time fossil fuel infrastructure is paused and, while demanding well-paid alternative work, lead the fight to shut down the industry for good.