Protestors chant ‘Stop Rosebank’ and bang the drum for a green future 

Climate campaigners were loudly proclaiming their opposition to oil and gas during a vibrant demonstration this evening (Friday) in Lerwick town centre.

The Shetland Stop Rosebank protest gathered at Market Cross from 5pm to amplify their calls for fossil fuels to be kept in the ground. 

Around 30 campaigners with drums, whistles, placards and flags made their views loud and clear as they marched down Commercial Street shouting “Stop Rosebank”.

They are calling for the West of Shetland oilfield to be abandoned, claiming its exploitation would only worsen the climate crisis. 

With Norwegian state-owned Equinor seeking to develop the oilfield, members of the Norwegian media were also watching on to see how the proposals are viewed in Shetland. 

Shetland Greens councillor Alex Armitage, who was one of the organisers, said Rosebank was a controversial issue – and hugely important. 

“It’s about which direction our economy goes in the future,” he said.

“Are we going down the route of renewable clean energy that will help us to meet our climate targets or are we going to go down the road of short-termism that means new oil and gas.

“Rosebank is the key issue because if we commit to leaving Rosebank oil in the ground then we are committing ourselves to going hard and fast to that route of a renewable energy future.

“And we have a massive opportunity to lead that in Shetland.”

Fellow organiser, Laura Bisset, added: “We always talk about the transition to green energy – we need to speed it up a bit.

“If we commit to new oil, it would be very hypocritical – how can you transition to green energy and then go with new oil?”

Another organiser, Andrea Sánchez, said: “I’m here because I’m a mother of three children and I’m worried. 

“I’m worried about our future, I’m worried because I don’t  see things changing and I think we need to start taking action because the normal market is not going to fix it.”

Representing the opposing view was Shetland South councillor Allison Duncan. 

“I’m here to support Rosebank and Cambo, which are very important to the Shetland and UK economy,” he said.

Mr Duncan said the gas from Rosebank was expected to come ashore at Sullom Voe Terminal, which he said would benefit Shetland.

If developed, Rosebank is estimated to produce around 300 million barrels of oil.


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