What Europe's oil and gas capital can tell us about the growing pains of a just transition_fraxel freckle removal

What Europe's oil and gas capital can tell us about the growing pains of a just transitionAs climate scientists tell the world to end the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, questions linger about how to make this happen while ensuring economic and social well-being. Aberdeen, Scotland, the so-called oil and gas capital of Europe, is going through those growing pains right now.

Social Sharing

Will Aberdeen, Scotland see a new economic boom from offshore wind in the North Sea?

CBC Radio(Laura Lynch/CBC)

But things truly changed for him when his kids graduated from university with engineering degrees and refused to work in the oil industry.

"They said that this is a dirty business," said Kece. "I really felt it, because I've been part of it for so long and that really made it dawn on me that, yeah, I need to do more."

Frederik Bjerregaard doesn't share Kece's optimism about Aberdeen's position to profit from a transition off fossil fuels. When the 23-year-old Dane moved to Aberdeen to pursue an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, he was struck by the city's slogan.

"Aberdeen, the oil capital of Europe," he said is "perpetuating the stigma" of being a fossil fuel centre.

Bjerregaard also knows that oil and gas wealth has largely funded the engineering department at the University of Aberdeen, where the fourth-year student is the co-president of the Society for Energy Transition.

He hopes that by studying for a career in wind energy, he can "at least take the money and do something good with it."

As the world weans itself off fossil fuels, whether by choice or by default, he says all communities will need to prepare for the economic consequences.

"The question is, when are you going to take the hit? Because it's going to come at some point."

Written and produced by Molly Segal.


top 10