“No new fossil fuel projects compatible with stable climate” – campaign group

Opponents of fossil fuel developments in southern England have described the government’s climate criteria for future oil and gas licences as “inherently flawed”.

IGas site at Misson, Nottinghamshire, 4 February 2019. Photo: Eric Walton

Ministers have proposed a climate compatibility checkpoint will decide whether new licences should be offered for exploration and production, both on and offshore. There are six tests that must be passed to avoid a pause in licensing.

Responding to a government consultation, the Weald Action Group said the checkpoint threatened UK net zero targets and global climate stability.

The group called for:

  • Immediate moratorium on onshore and offshore oil and gas projects that have been licensed but not approved.
  • Block on all future licensing rounds
  • Scrapping of the climate compatibility checkpoint

Weald Action Group said:

“We are in a climate emergency and no new fossil fuel projects are compatible with maintaining a stable climate. If we are to have any hope of keeping global average temperature rise below 1.50 c it is crucial that new oil and gas exploration is halted now. “

“The proposed oil and gas climate compatibility checkpoint is an inherently flawed premise that threatens the delivery not only of the UK’s net-zero target but, more importantly, of the global stability of the climate.”

The checklist creates doubt about the timing and speed of the UK’s move out of fossil fuels, the group said:

“This will create uncertainty for thousands of oil and gas workers who have a right to a just transition to sustainable and secure professions.”

Weald Action Group added:

“The UK bears a huge historic greenhouse gas emissions burden, is a developed country with a diversified economy much less dependent on oil and gas compared to other parts of the world, and has access to significant sources of clean renewable energy. As such, the UK must be one of the countries that goes first in ending new oil and gas exploration and production.”

The group said its arguments had been backed recently by:

Weald Action Group said the flaws in the checkpoint included:

Licensing It applies only to new oil and gas licensing rounds, ignoring the significant climate impact of already licensed but not approved projects.

Tests Some of the proposed potential tests risk “skewing the checkpoint in favour of allowing further licensing rounds”, the group said. It said carbon capture and storage, for example, must be used only as part of a transition out of fossil fuels. It should not be a means of extending oil and gas exploration and production.

Clarity There was also a “worrying lack of clarity” about how potential tests in the checklist would be weighted, the group said in its response. There was a risk, it said, that a proposed test which assesses the UK’s status as a net exporter or importer would have more influence than tests considering carbon emissions from the use of production oil or gas.

Weald Action Group also called for more political focus on managing energy demand, which it said was frequently bypassed in discussions about security of supplies.

8 replies »

  1. I am sure the Government will take the Weald Action Group’s concerns on board and act immediately….

    It makes no difference to consumption and therefore climate change whether we produce our own or import it; it does make a difference to the residents who prefer it is produced out of sight i.e. overseas….

    And it makes a difference to the Treasury and therefore all of us.

  2. I hope the government takes your advice, Paul, but somehow I doubt it.
    As you know, not all would agree that domestic production v. imports makes no difference to consumption, so let’s leave that, and my admittedly optimistic assessment of what ‘residents’ prefer is fuel from existing tapped resources rather than new ones. Sadly this does seem to favour imports. Nimbyism must be a factor of course, but a decreasing one, one hopes, as we become more savvy concerning matters egalitarian.
    Hope springs eternal.

  3. Not all would agree that the earth is not flat, either.

    However, existing demand in UK for oil and gas is not being met by UK supply and that is fact. And, it will get worse. That is fact. If more of that demand was met locally, what would it mean? Less transport emissions to start with. So, unless someone has an interest in maintaining transport emissions there is no logic to continuing imports when the material being imported can be accessed locally.

    Do I consume more if I have a farm shop locally? Nope. I just consume more of what is produced locally and less that might be trucked up from Spain or comes airfreight from Kenya. That is consideration for the environment.

    I did note a lady from US last night talking about the situation with Ukraine and the energy supply issue regarding mainland Europe. Her basic assessment? The EU had been absolutely bonkers not securing energy independence and now needed to do so-quick. The frackers would ramp up even further in US to help out but it would take some time. Bad decision consequences coming home to roost.

    • As you know of course, all these arguments were rehearsed when you revealed your problems with arithmetic. It would be tedious to reiterate them. Suffice it to say that in your list of facts, the future cannot logically figure.
      I also remember that you still have a lot of unsupported allegations to justify with your ‘facts’. We may have to re-define ‘facts’: Trump has given us a lead after all. (See posting ‘Breaking: legal challenges fail…)
      We ( despite your problems with the 1st person plural pronouns and adjectives) can only put up with so much diversionary rhetoric.

  4. You mean those arguments that simply provide facts, 1720? Yes, I am guilty of that.

    But, if you need more perhaps have a look at KatT’s comment around the plan for net zero. It is there to see, supported, that gas and oil will be part of UK’s energy mix up to and beyond 2050. All supported. You may like to look away from that plan, but that is there for all to see.

    So, that being the plan, who is it regarding that plan who is wanting to maintain more emissions than could be the case? Oh yes, the “we’s” who have to resort to nonsense arithmetic and nonsense relationships between demand and supply! But you now have Truth Social to join. I am sure that sort of contradiction would be welcome there.

    Give the other one up, 1720. If the left winger is brought back to help the defence, the result was still a loss. 2-1 is a loss. Nil points. Then, rinse and repeat and then relegation. Even with a friendly ref. Maybe the opposition is just better and your defence is poor? But, it was always going to be the case once there was confusion about the transfer market.

    • As you failed to understand, you cannot call a fact something which is still to happen, or not. But don’t let that bother you. Just re-define fact as did your mentors on the right.
      Don’t worry, Martin, I never thought for a moment that we’d see an apology to Paul from you, (have we ever seen an apology from the Trumps, the Johnson’s, the Bolsonaros, the Putins?), nor did I expect a retraction or justification of your unsubstantiated slurs or assertions. The plastic trail is there however.
      That the mechanistic model of the capitalist world view is not applicable to all life, (your supply and demand leitmotiv) , and that it has outlived its usefulness even for the economy as it has brought us to the point of extinction is something that is still worth asserting despite the deniers. As I said, hope has to spring eternal, and the future of humanity cannot be reduced to a football analogy or a cry of “mathematics”, even without arithmetic. Perhaps it’s all just a little bit too difficult for the simplistic world view.

      • Can’t be bothered to go past your factually incorrect first sentence, 1720.

        That the world will be destroyed is fact. Has it happened? Nope. Is it definitely, factually, scientifically proven, and substantiated that it will happen? Yes.

        Maybe you have some other reference regarding solar activity that is going to save our world?

        [Edited by moderator]

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