Kwarteng: “Gas and crude oil will serve us for decades”
(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – Even the UK “blinds” the gas. The country that organized the COP26 and promised to cut fossil fuels firmly does not want to give up the hydrocarbons of the North Sea. And it behaves like Europe: London wants to label gas investments offshore as “green”, creating a green taxonomy in all respects similar to that of the EU.
The option is on the desk of the Secretary of Commerce, Kwasi Kwarteng. Which in recent weeks is in the sights of climate activists, first Extinction Rebellion then Green New Deal Rising. And it is precisely by responding (via Twitter) to a protest of the latter that he reiterated his no to block new drilling in the North Sea.
“Shout and scream all you want, but I won’t jeopardize Britain’s energy security by shutting down national oil and gas investments,” the secretary wrote in his profile. “We will need oil and gas for decades to come. Either we supply more than we need from the North Sea, or we import more from abroad”.
By giving the label “sustainable” to gas investments, London wants to boost domestic production. The reason is the energy emergency caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Although Great Britain is little exposed: in 2021 from Russia arrived at just 4% of gas, 9% of oil and 27% of coal. For crude oil and coal, London has already promised that it will stop all imports. Nothing of the kind is planned for gas.
The United Kingdom set a climate target a year ago to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 from 1990 levels. One of the most ambitious targets in the world. That already at the time had raised some eyebrows to the opposition and civil society, since in fact London was not doing much to abandon the fossils. The decision to expand offshore gas drilling, then, contrasts with the IEA transition scenarios, which state that to stay within 1.5 degrees you must avoid any new fossil project.