Finance Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement that he would issue 100 new licenses drew criticism from both conservative MPs and environmental groups.
Rishi Sunak, the British Chancellor, is aiming to maximize oil and gas production in the North Sea, No. 10 claimed. The statement came as he announced more than 100 new drilling licences. However, environmental groups have raised concerns about the impact this policy could have on the UK’s climate commitments.
The plan was also criticized by Chris Skidmore, the Conservative MP leading a net-zero review, who said it was “on the wrong end of modern voters”.
During his visit to Aberdeenshire on Monday, Sunak said the move was “fully in line with our plan to go net zero”, telling radio stations that using domestic supplies is much more efficient than importing gas and oil from other countries.
Sunak’s junior energy secretary, Andrew Bowie, has expressed his support for the recently tabled proposals for the new round of North Sea licences. According to Bowie, these proposals aim to make the most of our oil and gas reserves in the region. This position is supported by the Downing Street Government.
When asked about a plan that would allow new licensees to drill for reserves near current projects than was previously allowed, it could be seen as an attempt to maximize oil and gas production. Sunak’s spokesman said this was “the definition of the new round”. of licenses”.
He said: “The Prime Minister strongly believes that first and foremost we should use the resources we have here at home.”
At least 100 new licenses and possibly more
According to the spokesman, at least 100 new licenses are expected to be issued, with possibly more in the fall. This is fully in line with the goal of achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050, as fossil fuels would still be needed at that point and domestic supply would require less transport.
Lyndsay Walsh, climate policy adviser at Oxfam, said: “Extracting more fossil fuels from the North Sea will nullify the UK’s climate commitments, at a time when we are in a just transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy should invest.” and our own abundant renewable energy.”
Mike Childs, political director of Friends of the Earth, said: “Climate change is already taking a toll on the planet, with unprecedented wildfires and heatwaves around the world.” Awarding hundreds of new oil and gas licenses will just add more fuel to the fire and nothing contribute to energy security as these fossil fuels are sold in international markets and are not reserved for UK use.”
Skidmore, a former science secretary and a pro-green policy advocate within the Tory party, called the new licenses “the wrong decision at exactly the wrong time while the rest of the world is experiencing record heat waves.”
He said: “You are on the wrong side of a future economy based on clean, renewable industries and not fossil fuels.
“You are on the wrong side of the modern electorate, who will vote with their feet in the next general election for parties that protect, not threaten, our environment. And he’s on the wrong side of history, which won’t positively affect today’s decision.
A recent announcement reported that the Acorn in north-east Scotland and Viking in the Humber projects have been selected for development in 2030. These projects focus on parallel carbon capture and storage systems and aim to help reduce carbon emissions.
Following two previous projects selected in 2021, located in Humber and Teesside and Liverpool Bay; These will start operations in the middle of the current decade.
If we don’t change, nothing will change
During a morning interview with BBC Radio Scotland, Sunak was asked how he traveled to Aberdeenshire. Somewhat gruffly, the interviewee, who ended the interview when he reached the five-minute limit set by No. 10, replied: “I’m going to fly like I normally would.”
He then told Good Morning Scotland presenter Martin Geissler: “If you or anyone else thinks that the answer to climate change is to get people to ban anything you’re doing just to stop people from doing it , to go on vacation, then I think that’s absolutely wrong.” Approach.”
Implementation of the new permitting process, overseen by the North Sea Transition Authority, will include a climate impact assessment. However, it is expected that this process will be more flexible than previously, allowing for drilling in close proximity to currently permitted areas.
Sunak and other government ministers have blamed Labor for increased reliance on foreign resources if a ban on new North Sea projects is implemented. They believe that this measure could have a negative impact on the economy and energy security in the UK. The Labor Party proposes investing heavily in renewable energy sources such as wind power and nuclear power. This would not only help reduce energy costs, but also ensure a safer and more sustainable supply for all.
With information from theguardian.com