The Prime Minister has granted more than 100 new oil and gas licences in the North Sea which he claims will help the UK “speeding our path to net zero.”
Rishi Sunak also confirmed the government are backing two more carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.
Sunak said that the government will provide £20 billion to fund the early deployment of CCS and said that “new technology that Britain can lead the world in.”
Sunak insists that new oil and gas licences is “entirely consistent” with the government’s plans to hit net zero emissions by 2050.
The Prime Minister insisted that the UK will need 25% of oil and gas for energy needs and said the government are wanting to “power Britain from Britain” instead of being reliant on “foreign dictators” such as Vladimir Putin for energy supplies.
Sunak said, “If we’re going to need it, far better to have it here at home rather than shipping it here from half way around the world with two, three, four times, the amount of carbon emissions versus the oil and gas we have here at home.
“So, it is entirely consistent with our plans to get to net zero.”
The Prime Minsiter said that “Licensing decisions are obviously made in the normal way.”
However, Labour’s Ed Miliband said the Tories are “weak and confused” and the government’s energy policy “will not take a penny of bills” for millions of households.
The Shadow Climate and net zero secretary said, “Every family and business in Britain has paid the price of the Conservatives’ failed energy policy which has left Britain as the worst hit country in Western Europe during the energy crisis – and Rishi Sunak is making the same mistake all over again.
“Rishi Sunak’s weak and confused policy will not take a penny off bills, as his own party chair has admitted, will do nothing for our energy security, and drive a coach and horses through our climate commitments, while continuing to leave us at the mercy of fossil fuel dictators like Putin.”
Oxfam climate change policy advisor, Lyndsay Walsh hit out at the Prime Minister’s plans warning that allowing more oil and gas licences in the North Sea will send a “wrecking ball through the UK’s climate commitments.”
Walsh said, “Today’s wrongheaded decision is yet another example of the Government’s hypocritical and dangerously inconsistent climate policy.
“Extracting more fossil fuels from the North Sea will send a wrecking ball through the UK’s climate commitments at a time when we should be investing in a just transition to a low carbon economy and our own abundant renewables.”