Sunak to meet oil and gas chiefs this week
Energy bosses will gather this week for meetings with the Government, as it prepares to set out new details of its plans for the UK’s fossil fuel and green industries.
Ministers are expected to provide an update on the delivery of the Government’s energy security plans, with support also due to be announced for carbon capture and new renewable technologies in Britain.
Rishi Sunak and Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps will meet top figures from the oil and gas, renewable and nuclear industries over the course of the week.
It comes after days of criticism and questions for Mr Sunak, amid concerns over a softening of the Government commitment to key net zero policies and environmental promises, after anger over London’s ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) helped seal victory for the Tories in the Uxbridge by-election.
The Government, despite alarm from climate campaigners, is also committed to new oil and gas licences in the North Sea.
This comes alongside efforts to revive nuclear energy within the UK, with Mr Shapps hoping to make it a key plank in the Government’s net zero strategy.
Such moves have been deemed increasingly necessary since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Mr Shapps hailing energy security as “national security”.
“Since Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine the Government has driven Putin from our energy market, paid around half of a typical family’s energy bill and grown our economy by driving forward major energy projects,” he said.
“This week we will go even further. Forging ahead with critical measures to power up Britain from Britain, including supporting our invaluable oil and gas industry, making the most of our home-grown energy sources and backing British innovation in renewables.
“And across Government we will champion Britain’s businesses to deliver on the Prime Minister’s priority of growing the economy – helping them to create new jobs and even whole new industries across the UK.”
New investment plans are expected to form part of a slate of announcements, as ministers say the Government strategy will also boost jobs and grow the British economy.
Shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband said: “Every family and business is paying the price, in higher energy bills, of 13 years of failed Tory energy policy.
“Labour will take no lessons from the party that banned onshore wind, crashed the market for solar, stalled energy efficiency, haven’t got any new nuclear plants started, and left us at the mercy of tyrants across the world.
“Labour is on the side of working people whilst the Tories line the pockets of energy giants and dictators across the world.”
Jamie Peters, climate coordinator at Friends of the Earth, said that ending the UK’s “reliance” on fossil fuels was the “only sensible and effective way” of increasing energy security.
“This means saying no to new fossil fuel developments and ramping up our investment in renewables and energy efficiency,” he said.
“The UK is blessed with huge renewable energy resources, offshore and onshore, and we should be making better use of these for long-term security and economic prosperity.
“With parts of the world literally on fire, we need our politicians to show bolder leadership on cutting emissions – not more dither and delay.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub