UK Legislators Demand North Sea Oil and Gas Clarity

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has called on the government to set a “clear date” for the end of new oil and gas licensing in the North Sea. The committee, which includes ex-Conservative minister Chris Skidmore and former Green party leader Caroline Lucas, has published a 100-page report which ramps up pressure on the government to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels and argue the date for ending oil and gas licensing rounds “should fall well before 2050”. The report also criticised the government for its response to the energy crisis caused by the Ukraine war. According to evidence submitted to the committee by Oil Change International (OCI), the UK’s current oil and gas production policies are not in line with the 1.5°C degrees climate change limit. The OCI had also called on the Government to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies – estimated at US$14.8 billion – and other tax breaks, redirecting them to fund a just transition to clean energy. Silje Ask Lundberg, an OCI Senior Campaigner, said: “Setting an end date for new licences is a step in the right direction, but not enough. The UK Government needs to stop all new investments in oil and gas, to be in line with the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero scenario”.  

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