Curious about VotesforSchools? Try our lessons with a 4-week free trial. Start now

Should the UK open new oil fields?

06th - 13th October 2023

Back to results


Total votes


5-11 votes


11-16+ votes

Energy security, the concept that we, as a country, have a reliable supply of electricity and gas to power and heat our homes and businesses, is not a straightforward concept. Risks to the supply are many and varied but the UK is very much at the mercy of the oil and gas producing countries.

To help with this, the move in recent years has been away from the consumption of fossil fuels and to look at greener forms of energy, like solar and wind.

But that is not as simple as it gets. With the threats to the energy needs of Britain, the energy companies have had to turn to older methods of producing to meet the demand. This included firing back up some coal fired power stations.

An important part of the energy mix in the near future remains the use of gas and oil. With that in mind, the UK Government has approved a new oil field in the North Sea.

With concerns about net zero heating up, voters considered the Government's responses to opening a new oil field at Rosebank, off the Shetland Islands.

child holding small plastic wind turbine

Age 7-11

“Tha mise a' bhòtadh nach bu chòir oir bidh e a' toirt buaidh air ginealachdan ri thighinn" // I'm voting no because it will affect future generations."


Age 11-16

"We can't switch off our dependency on oil overnight. If we can get oil from a place where it's not being transported through warzones or funding despotism we should.”


Age 16+

"We mostly thought that oil is bad for the environment, but that renewable resources also have their downsides."

84% of young people aged 5-7 said that they wanted more renewable energy.

  • Our youngest voters were discussing their thoughts on renewable energy sources for this VoteTopic.
  • A substantial majority, of 84% voted 'Yes' to the question, "Do you want more renewable energy?"
78% of young people aged 7-11 said we shouldn't open a new oil field at Rosebank.

  • All voters aged 7+ were answering the question, "Should the UK open new oil fields?"
  • 78% of those aged 7-11 voted 'No', meaning just over 10% were in favour of the Government's plans.
Many said damages to the environment and wildlife would be too severe to make it worth the benefits.

  • Environmental concerns seemed to be the most popular reason for voting 'No'.
  • Some voters also expressed concern about the noise pollution that would affect those living nearby.
67% of young people aged 11+ agreed, arguing that the Government shouldn't open a new oil field.

  • 67% of voters aged 11+ voted 'No', meaning one third of voters were in favour of the Government's plans.
  • Interestingly, the comments we received swayed more heavily towards the 'Yes' side of the argument.