‘Well before 2050’: Select Committee demands fossil fuel end date

The UK Government has been asked to confirm a timeline for stopping new oil and gas licensing rounds to show leadership on the international climate crisis. 

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), a cross-party group tasked with making assessing progress on green issues, warned policymakers that an end date should be set ‘well before 2050’ in order for the country to retain its reputation as one of the most pro-active in terms of the climate. 

white clouds over city buildings during daytime

Recommendations formed part of an analysis of the British Energy Security Strategy, with the Committee also suggesting that tougher targets on electrification and oil and gas emissions operational emissions should factor in the next stage of UK environmental-energy policy. ‘Accelerating the transition from fossil fuels and securing energy supplies, the EAC report, was complimentary of the strategy’s overall ambition while pointing out ‘significant gaps’ in the approach. 

‘The Paris Agreement enshrined an important principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities, which the UK must honour if it is to remain a credible climate leader. We therefore recommend that the UK set a clear date for ending new oil and gas licensing rounds in the North Sea: this date should fall well before 2050,’ the Committee said, explaining the entire energy sector had been neglecting its responsibilities or decades. ‘A responsible industry should have been working to clean its operations with far greater urgency.’ 

Along with manufacturing, consumer expenditure and transport, energy remains one of the top four largest contributors to the UK’s carbon footprint, significantly impacting air quality and pollution. Last week, Friends of the Earth announced it was launching a legal challenge to planning permission granted for a new coal mine in Cumbria, England

Image: Chris LeBoutillier




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