At 10am on June 8, a human-sized oil smeared gannet from Ocean Rebellion was found dying on the shores of Dundee, ahead of a possible government decision to approve the Rosebank oil field. Meanwhile two oil industry lobbyists, who were spotted fumbling for their lighters, sloshed even more oil on the poor bird. With companies like Equinor and politicians like Sunak and Shapps, who both seem willing to risk the lives of their own children in a climate collapse, nature doesn’t stand a chance.
Behind the performers, protestors held a banner saying ‘STOP ROSEBANK.’ And looming behind the banners, a sinister oil rig was visible, preparing to play its grisly part in destroying life both below and above Scottish waters. ‘Who needs nature?’ it appears to shout.
Equinor, the Norwegian oil giant has submitted an application to the UK government for approval for Rosebank, the biggest undeveloped oil field in the UK. Burning Rosebank’s oil and gas would create more CO2 than the annual CO2 emissions of the 28 lowest-income countries combined. It’s almost three times the size of Cambo – the oil field that was successfully stopped in 2021. Rosebank is a slap in the face not just to nature, marine life and ocean ecosystems but also to the UN Secretary General, the IPCC and the International Energy Authority, who have all said new oil and gas is incompatible with the Paris Agreement targets. In fact, the emissions created just from extracting the oil from Rosebank would see the oil and gas industry fail to meet its emissions reduction targets and could have devastating impacts on a pristine marine environment that is a lifeline for marine wildlife and seabirds.
The fate of the Ocean depends on us all.
Our interventions depend on your support.
Mandy Cairns of Ocean Rebellion said:
“Equinor state on their website that their environmental work is guided by their commitments to prevent harm to the environment, and yet they intend to develop an oil field which would involve a pipeline cutting through the Faroe-Shetland sponge belt, which is home to sensitive deep sea sponges and 400 year old clams. A major oil spill from Rosebank could risk serious impact to at least 16 Marine Protected Areas.”
Dr. Kate Treharne, Zoologist of Ocean Rebellion said:
“The In Deep Water report from Oceana and Uplift reveals that marine life in UK waters are constantly subjected to small but routine oil spills. Satellite images of UK waters from 2020-2022, obtained by an NGO SkyTruth show oil slicks as long as 10 km. With a million seabirds calling Shetland home, an oil spill from this field would be catastrophic to the animals and birds who live and feed in this area”.
Bridget Cooper from Ocean Rebellion said:
“All aspects of Rosebank will devastate marine wildlife. Seafloor pipelines for Rosebank will cut through and damage the delicate Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt. In general, locating new oil reserves requires Seismic airgun blasting sometimes for as much as every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day for weeks at a time. Noise pollution can travel hundreds of miles through water, often so loudly that it disorientates, injures or kills whales, dolphins and porpoises.”
Rosebank is a dodgy attempt to submit us to the continuing whims of petro-state dictators and lock us into pricey fossil fuels whose development is covered by tax breaks, but whose profits go offshore to Equinor. The owners of Rosebank will be, in effect, handed £3.75billion to develop the field which, like 80% of all UK oil, will likely be exported. It’s the most almighty, shameless scam. Rosebank’s oil will take years to start oozing, and then will be sold on international markets, doing nothing to address the current energy price crisis, which has been manufactured by governments doing all they can to thwart the development of cheap-as-chips renewable energy. When it’s all over, it will be UK taxpayers who pay for the cleanup and marine life who will be paying the ultimate price.
Dr Kate Treharne added:
“I’ve been following climate trends in horror since the 80s. All the terrifying predictions are coming true worse and earlier than models suggested. It’s more important now than ever before that everyone around the world stand up against this apocalyptic decision to open the Rosebank oil field.”
The fate of the Ocean depends on us all.
We’ll let you know what we’re doing to help.
The Ocean Rebellion demand to the UK Government is simple:
Live up to your previous promise of not supporting the overseas fossil fuel sector and stop giving away our hard earned tax money to a destructive greed machine.
Photos by: Susanna Hotham.