A legal challenge at the High Court this morning could have wide-ranging implications for future proposals that have a large carbon footprint. The case, brought by environmental campaigner Sarah Finch, will argue that Surrey County Council acted unlawfully in allowing 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill, near Gatwick airport. Her lawyers will say the council should have considered the full climate impacts of the scheme. In seeking a judicial review, they will argue that the environmental impact assessment that accompanied the planning application failed to: Assess greenhouse gas emissions resulting from burning oil produced at Horse Hill, or Consider the UK’s legally-binding target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Drill or Drop 17th Nov 2020 read more »
The use of hydrogen to help meet UK carbon targets does not justify an expansion of the onshore oil and gas industry, campaigners said today. A briefing paper by the Weald Action Group, a network opposing hydrocarbon developments in southern England, argued there was no need to make hydrogen from fossil fuels. The paper was a response to recent comments by some onshore oil and gas companies that they were contributing to the UK’s net zero target by providing gas that could be used to make hydrogen. The Weald Action Group has accepted that some parts of the economy would be difficult to decarbonise and using hydrogen as a clean fuel was a possible option. But it argued in the paper that production of hydrogen from methane, known as grey hydrogen, produced large amounts of pollution emissions and contributed to climate change. Production from methane using carbon capture and storage (CCS), called blue hydrogen by the industry, had lower emissions. But the briefing paper said progress to commercial-scale CCS had been “painfully slow” and: “there are serious doubts it will be a viable option for mitigating emissions from fossil fuel hydrogen production in the next few decades.”
Drill or Drop 16th Nov 2020 read more »