North Sea oil industry jeopardised by UK court ruling

A UK High Court judge has agreed with Greenpeace that the UK has failed to protect wildlife from the negative impact of the North Sea oil industry.

The case against the Government was mounted by Greenpeace (see related story) and charged that the UK has incorrectly applied the EU Habitats Directive. While the UK has asserted its economic rights to 200 miles off the Scottish coast in order to develop North Sea oil production, it has limited its application of the Habitats Directive to 12 miles from shore.

This policy, according to Greenpeace and six other UK conservation organisations, represents a failure to protect coral, whales and dolphins in the North Sea.

Justice Kay agreed that oil exploration was “at least likely” to have an “adverse effect” on deep water coral reefs.

A Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) spokesperson told edie that officials from the DTI and DETR will review the court judgement before deciding whether to appeal.

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