Our political leaders are clueless and need to be replaced with scientists, people who actually know science.
New North Sea oil and gas licences will send ‘wrecking ball’ through climate commitments
Tory MP and environmental groups criticise Rishi Sunak’s announcement of 100 new licences
Rishi Sunak hopes to extract as much oil and gas from the North Sea as possible, No 10 has said, as it announced 100-plus new drilling licences in a “maxing out” policy that environmental groups said would obliterate the UK’s climate commitments.
The plan was also criticised by Chris Skidmore, the Conservative MP who led a review into net zero, who said it was “on the wrong side of modern voters”.
Making a visit to Aberdeenshire on Monday, Sunakclaimed the move was “entirely consistent with our plan to get to net zero”, telling broadcasters that domestic supplies were significantly more efficient than shipping gas and oil from other countries.
Sunak’s junior energy minister, Andrew Bowie, described the proposals for the new North Sea licensing round, unveiled on Monday morning, as “maxing out our oil and gas reserves”, a notion backed by Downing Street.
Asked whether a plan to allow new licencees to drill for reserves closer to current projects than previously allowed was an attempt to maximise the amount of oil and gas extracted, Sunak’s press secretary said this was “the definition of the new licensing round”.
She said: “The prime minister is firmly of the belief that we should use the resources that we have here at home, first and foremost.
It's good that Sunak is getting a lot of pushback from Labour and becoming grumpy. The guy needs to be removed.
Asked in a morning interview with BBC Radio Scotland how he was travelling to Aberdeenshire, a rather grumpy Sunak, who ended the interview when it reached the five-minute limit imposed by No 10, replied: “I’ll be flying as I normally would.”
He then told the Good Morning Scotland presenter Martin Geissler: “If you or others think that the answer to climate change is getting people to ban everything that they’re doing, just to stop people going on holiday, I think that’s absolutely the wrong approach.”
The new licence process, overseen by the North Sea Transition Authority, will involve a climate compatibility test, but will have more flexibility than before to drill for reserves close to currently licensed areas.
Sunak and his ministers have accused Labour of making the UK more reliant on overseas resources if it goes ahead with a ban on new North Sea projects. Labour says it would invest heavily in renewable sources such as wind, and also in nuclear power, which would reduce bills and make supplies more secure and sustainable.
Lord Deben backs Labour’s plan to halt new North Sea oil and gas drilling
UK’s most senior climate adviser says policy is ‘right thing to do’ and criticises government’s stance
Missed all our net zero targets? No sweat. Rishi Sunak is 100% on it
The PM acts as if he has some cunning plan, but even his own global heating advisers can’t see how
Sunak is focused on the big stuff, or what he repeatedly insists are our priorities: boats, economy, boats, hospital waiting lists, boats, inflation, boats. The naysayers would uncharitably point out that he’s failing, to which I repeat the PM’s own words: “I’m totally, 100% on it and it’s going to be OK.”
In this Mr Big Stuff vein on Tuesday it was reported that Sunak and his home secretary, Suella Braverman, would be meeting sports supremos and senior police in an effort to save the great British sporting summer from climate activists. Later that day, three sexagenarian Just Stop Oil protesters brought a couple of tennis matches to a standstill by sprinkling confetti and jigsaw pieces on court. One sporting supremo, at least, was philosophical: ‘‘You don’t want things to be disrupted but at the same time they will really be disrupted with climate change,” said Gary Lineker. Advantage activists.
Arresting “groups with unreasonable demands” seems to be the extent of Sunak’s interest in global warming – let alone other environmental issues that the electorate bores on about. Climate consistently ranks in the top issues of concern among voters, but presumably Sunak knows better what’s best for us and has a plan. And better than the UN secretary general, António Guterres, who last week declared that “climate change is out of control”.