Rishi Sunak unveils energy security plans

Press release
The government's climate credibility is hanging in the balance, say campaigners.
  Published:  31 Jul 2023    |      1 minute read

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s announcement today for hundreds of new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea, alongside investment in carbon capture and storage, Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, said:

"Rishi Sunak’s energy security drive should focus on energy efficiency and the UK’s vast home-grown renewable resources, rather than championing more costly and dirty fossil fuels.

"Climate change is already battering the planet with unprecedented wildfires and heatwaves across the globe. Granting hundreds of new oil and gas licences will simply pour more fuel on the flames, while doing nothing for energy security as these fossil fuels will be sold on international markets and not reserved for UK use.

"Talking up carbon capture and storage is an obvious attempt to put a green gloss on the Prime Minister’s announcement. Even if it ever worked, which is unlikely in the near term, CCS won’t capture all the climate pollution caused by burning fossil fuels or address the significant emissions that are created when gas and oil is extracted.

"If the government were serious about energy security it would invest in a nationwide street by street home insulation programme, focussing first on the communities that need it most. This would slash gas consumption, reduce energy bills, and help meet UK climate targets.

"Rishi Sunak’s international credibility is on the line. He promised other world leaders the UK would cut carbon by more than two thirds by 2030. His recent announcements on energy and transport look as though he is reneging on the UK’s commitments. The Prime Minister should stop playing politics with young people’s futures and build the safe, clean economy we urgently need."