The UK is still divided over new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea as the government considers showing green light to new fields.
Analysts say the new licenses are in conflict with the UK’s international climate commitments and the Paris climate agreement, as well as undermining the effects of the recent UN climate summit.
As parliamentarians and media commentators push the government to move ahead with fossil fuel projects, they argue that they are necessary to reduce rising energy costs, the Guardian reports.
In this context, researchers at University College London have warned that additional greenhouse gas emissions from the development of new oil and gas fields could deplete existing wells, deplete the country’s carbon budget and put the world on track to exceed the 1.5-degree Celsius limit. Target Cup at Climate Summit26.
Environmental and economic damage
Daniel Welsby, a University College London researcher and co-author of a study by The Guardian on the possibility of obtaining new licenses in the UK, urged ministers to urge the government to reduce production in other countries. To justify the licensing of new fossil fuels.
He said: “The UK does not need new oil and gas fields. In order for the UK to produce more oil and gas, another oil producer must keep its oil and gas on the ground.”
The research paper, produced by University College London scientists and commissioned by the Uplift Campaign Team, stated that “the development of new oil and gas fields in the UK is not in line with the Paris Agreement to control global warming”.
“We recommend that all new oil and gas fields be shut down and that the government focus on supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy both domestically and internationally,” he added.
Uplift director Tessa Conn said: “If we continue on this path, we’re relied on the most expensive and most polluting energy source for decades. The government’s serious response to sustainable energy bills and the climate crisis.
The head of COP26, British Minister Alok Sharma, confirmed to Sky News last month that it was “unrealistic” to think that new sources in the North Sea would reduce gas prices.
“What we need to do is what we are doing, moving forward with renewables, investing in nuclear energy,” he said.
Last year, the International Energy Agency, in a report commissioned by the UK for COP26, advised that new fossil fuel research and development should not take place from this year if the world is to stay within 1.5 C.
A research paper by University College London, published in the journal Nature, which was co-reviewed, reached similar conclusions.
Upcoming Judgment on the North Sea
In the next few weeks, the Panel on Climate Change – the government’s legal advisory body on climate crisis – will issue a ruling on whether new drilling and surveys in the North Sea fit into the UK’s carbon budget.
The Department of Commerce, Energy and Industrial Strategy is consulting on defining a “climate compliance checkpoint” for any new licenses to be issued.
“Continued demand for oil and gas will continue in the coming years and we are moving towards cleaner and safer forms of energy produced in these countries,” a ministry spokesman said.
“As the Secretary of Commerce has said, closing our domestic gas reserves overnight would jeopardize the safety of British energy, jobs and industries, and we will become more dependent on foreign imports,” he added.
About six projects were approved last year to develop fields in the North Sea, and this year is likely to see a similar number.
The North Sea is embarrassing the government
The new round of oil and gas licenses in the North Sea – first announced last year – is an embarrassment to the government trying to confirm the achievements of the climate summit held in Glasgow last November.
As a host country, the UK will remain in the UN until November this year, when the COP27 Climate Summit will be held in Egypt.
This is a key promise made in Glasgow, giving the government the primary responsibility to ensure that all countries in the world – particularly the G-20 – emit emissions in line with the 1.5 ° C temperature range.
But disagreements within the Conservative Party and in the media over the UK’s carbon-neutral target have threatened to cover up the UK presidency and undermine talks.
Some Conservative MPs have hit the country’s climate targets, while some commentators have called for energy prices to be eliminated amid the crisis.
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