Human emissions of greenhouse gases have caused a predictable rise of 1.2 °C in global temperatures. Over the last 70 years, the rise has occurred at a geologically unprecedented speed and scale. To avoid a worsening situation, most developed nations are turning to renewable sources of power to meet their climate commitments, including the UK, Norway, Denmark and The Netherlands. The North Sea basin offers many advantages in the transition from fossil fuels by virtue of its natural resources, physical setting, offshore infrastructure and skilled workforce. Nonetheless, the magnitude of the up-front costs and the scale required to achieve net zero emissions are rarely acknowledged. In addition, some of the technologies being planned are commercially immature. In particular, the current cost of the capture, transport and disposal of carbon dioxide is problematic as a large-scale solution to industrial emissions. Repurposing the North Sea to meet a low-carbon future will require substantial collaboration between governments and industrial sectors. There are nonetheless significant opportunities for companies prepared to switch from the traditional oil and gas business to renewable energy production and other sustainable activities.