Fossil fuels are driving Climate Change

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With heatwaves causing record breaking temperatures across the UK last week, the climate crisis should be at the forefront of our minds.

In some areas, the heat reached 40ºC, temperatures which hadn’t been predicted until 2050.

The high temperatures caused chaos up and down the UK with trains cancelled, roads melting, and people unable to work in the heat. This isn’t normal.

Climate change makes heatwaves like these vastly more likely to happen, and the likelihood is that they will become both more frequent and longer lasting in the next few years.

One of the biggest causes of climate change is the extraction and burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, which as a society we rely on for almost everything we do.

In order to reduce our emissions and halt climate change, we must urgently transition away from our current fossil fuel-based system, and invest in an energy system powered by renewables and a reduced demand for energy.

Scotland has historically been a big producer of oil and gas from the North Sea, currently extracting around 18,000 barrels of oil and gas per day.

Regulation of offshore oil and gas extraction is a power reserved to the UK Government, and this autumn they will launch a new licensing round where energy companies can bid for licenses to develop even more new oil and gas fields.

Climate scientists are clear that the more new oil and gas fields we build, the longer we will be locked into an energy system that is making climate change worse by the day.

We need the UK Government to stop approving new fossil fuel projects and instead invest in renewables and energy efficiency projects such as home insulation.

However, the fossil fuel industry is a huge employer across Scotland, and for many people in Argyll; livelihoods depend on using fossil fuels to power vehicles and machinery.

We can’t just turn off the tap of North Sea oil and gas – oil and gas workers need access to jobs in green industries, and everyone needs affordable alternatives to using fossil fuels in our everyday lives.

That’s why a Just Transition is so important, so that workers and ordinary people don’t lose out in the phase out of fossil fuels.

There are lots of groups that are campaigning for a rapid and fair transition away from fossil fuels, and they need your help!

Time for Change is involved in the Stop Cambo coalition, a UK-wide group which managed to pressure oil giant Shell to pull out of developing a massive new oil field (Cambo) off the coast of Shetland last year.

Now they are fighting against the UK Government’s recent approval of the Jackdaw gas field, which would produce enough gas to equal half the annual emissions of Scotland.

At the end of August, the Stop Jackdaw campaign is planning a week of action to raise
awareness of the importance of phasing out North Sea oil and gas, and to show the UK and Scottish governments that the public wants a transition to clean, cheap renewable energy as soon as possible.

You can find out more and get involved on the Time for Change website at www.timeforchangeargyllandbute.org.