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Conservative MPs among those urging Rishi Sunak to halt plans to ‘max out’ North Sea oil – Politics.co.uk


A cross-party group of parliamentarians has urged Rishi Sunak to end plans to “max out” North Sea oil and gas.

The members of the Climate APPG (all-party parliamentary group) wrote to the prime minister on Wednesday with a list of demands that, if enacted by government, would “accelerate action to cut emissions, protect nature and rebuild the UK’s unique political consensus”.

The APPG’s first demand was for the government to “live up to the promise made at COP28 ‘to transition away from fossil fuels’ by ending the government’s approach of ‘maxing out’ North Sea oil and gas”.

“As has been well documented, the North Sea’s dwindling reserves will not deliver energy security, with recent research demonstrating that up to 2050, new licences would provide just four days worth of gas supply a vear at today’s demand”, the letter reads.

The group of parliamentarians who signed the letter included former minister Lord Goldsmith and Conservative MPs Pauline Latham and Tracey Crouch, as well as a number of Labour and SNP parliamentarians. 

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Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, another signatory, said: “When the prime minister entered Downing Street he promised to protect the environment.

“But instead he has U-turned on once leading climate policies, approved the largest undeveloped oil field in the North Sea and weaponised green policies.

“If the government is to secure any success at future critical international negotiations then the Prime Minister must heed the demands of cross-party parliamentarians.”

The letter also called on the government to secure UK membership of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, which aims to elevate the issue of oil and gas production phase-out, ahead of Cop29.

The letter reads: “The UK should build on the diplomatic success of the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) which it Co-Chairs with Canada. by urgently joining the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) which works to facilitate a just phase out of oil and gas production”.

Rishi Sunak was also urged to appoint a “Secretary of State-level Climate Envoy” ahead of COP29.

The letter closed: “Prime Minister, last year marked 15 years of the UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act. Later this year we will celebrate five years since the UK became the first major economy to pass net zero by 2020 into law.

“In light of the growing urgency of the climate crisis, now is the time to build on the UK’s historic climate leadership and accelerate action to cut emissions, protect nature and rebuild the UK’s unique political consensus.”

Politics.co.uk is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our free daily newsletter here.





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