The decline in UK oil and gas production, seen as "worrying" by the industry, should be taken as good news by everyone else, say the Scottish Greens.
Trade body Oil and Gas UK's annual economic report shows a sharp fall in output of 19 per cent during 2011 and 14 per cent in 2012. It estimates a further fall of at least 8.5 per cent during this year, with no recovery next year.
The Scottish Green Party argue that multinationals making themselves rich by keeping the world addicted to oil and gas refuse to acknowledge that the world has far more fossil fuels than we can ever afford to burn. The challenge must be to leave most of it in the ground, or at least reserve it for non-fuel uses.
Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, commented: "The increasing cost of production is no surprise, as it's been known for many years that depleted fields become ever harder to exploit."
"While some people talk as though they could squeeze every last drop from every field, the reality is that it will become steadily less economic, and eventually impossible.
"The future for our energy system, for our economy and for employment in Scotland lies partly with renewable energy and partly with a transition to life with lower energy consumption. The quicker we begin that transition, the greater the benefits will be," he said.