In March 2022, we wrote to the Prime Minister urging bold moves to secure the health and the future of the UK by reducing reliance on oil and gas by focussing on generating cheaper, cleaner power sources.
In May, we received a response from Lord Callanan, the Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility, which highlighted the government’s recently announced British Energy Security Strategy and the measures it seeks to deliver. While we were grateful for the response, we were disappointed that the key concerns raised in our letter were not addressed.
We have urged the government to double down on plans to replace our reliance on fossil fuels and are disappointed to see a new licencing round for new North Sea oil and gas projects planned to launch this autumn. This is inconsistent with our call for an end to all subsidies and investments in fossil fuels whilst ensuring a just transition for fossil fuel workers and equitable access to affordable energy.
We were pleased the government has listened to calls for a need to accelerate the date by which all new homes are to be fully insulated and off the gas grid, but note the planned timeframe for implementation is 2025, which is too long to wait for properly insulated, gas-free new homes.
Nobody should need to choose between heating and eating, and it is vulnerable and elderly people who will feel the impacts the most. Solutions that will make a real, positive impact for people’s health are urgently needed, and we believe they are to be found in sustained investment in renewable energy.
In his speech in Glasgow to mark six months since COP26, COP26 President Alok Sharma urged world leaders to accelerate action on promises made in the Glasgow Climate Pact. He said, “Investing in fossil fuels will only risk stranded assets. And the potential for renewables is extraordinary.”
He also reminded us of the words of Emi Mahmoud to world leaders at COP26, “If you could stop climate tragedy unfolding further you would, wouldn’t you?”
Ceasing investment and subsidies in fossil fuels would be a good place to start.