Baroness Sheehan & Mary Robinson: UK must prove its climate leadership by phasing out North Sea oil and gas production. here is a stark contradiction in the way that governments are responding to the climate crisis. On one hand, an increasing number, including the UK, are committing to slash greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. At the same time, however, governments are increasing extraction of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas which are the single biggest source of carbon emissions. A recent UN report confirmed that we are on track to produce double the amount of fossil fuels that can be burned if we are to stay within the Paris climate agreement’s 1.5°C warming limit. Alarmingly, fossil fuel production is increasing when the UN has warned that we need to reduce production by 6 per cent per year to stay within the 1.5°C limit. A small number among the international community are acting to reduce their oil and gas production. Denmark is the largest oil and gas producer in the EU but in December its parliament took the bold but vital decision to end oil and gas production by 2050. This is a major commitment that other producer countries should follow as a first step. The British government has the perfect opportunity to be a climate leader on the international stage this year as host of COP26 in Glasgow and as chair of the G7. Boris Johnson’s administration can take bold decisions on climate change. The announcement that it will end taxpayer support for fossil fuel projects overseas was commendable. The prime minister, in supporting offshore wind and bringing forward a ban on new petrol and diesel cars, has shown he gets the low-carbon agenda. However, the government’s policy on domestic oil and gas production stands in stark contrast. For all the political momentum behind its green agenda, the government has enshrined the objective of “maximising economic recovery” of the UK’s offshore oil and gas reserves. That objective is central to the Oil and Gas Authority’s most recent strategy. To meet the Paris goals, complementary demand and supply-side measures must be deployed; otherwise it’s like using a one-armed pair of scissors.
Times 1st Feb 2021 read more »
The Labour party has called for a ban on UK North Sea oil operators burning or releasing gas “except in dire safety emergencies” after data showed the contentious practice of “flaring and venting” in the region is responsible for a coal plant’s worth of carbon emissions each year.
FT 1st Feb 2021 read more »
Aviva will use its ‘ultimate sanction’ to force action on global warming. Aviva will use its ‘ultimate sanction’ to force action on global warming’ Aviva invest will divest from 30 oil gas mining and utility.
FT 31st Jan 2021 read more »