Britain must end all oil and gas extraction in the North Sea as a matter of urgency if it is to maintain its position as a credible climate champion. That was the stark warning issued by green campaigners yesterday in the wake of last week’s decision by Denmark to halt its exploration for new North Sea reserves as part of its commitment to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change.
The Danish decision is an embarrassment for Boris Johnson who announced last week that Britain would take a lead in the battle against global heating by cutting national carbon emissions by 68% by 2030, a rate faster than any other major economy.
However, the UK has not announced plans to end exploration in the North Sea for new gas and oil fields or to halt extraction there – despite the established link between global warming and fossil fuel extraction and burning.
By announcing its North Sea ban last week, say campaigners, Denmark has undermined Johnson’s attempt to portray himself as a world climate leader next Saturday when he is scheduled to co-host a virtual Climate Ambition summit of world leaders.
“If the UK is to be a real global climate leader, it must follow Denmark’s lead by stopping issuing new oil and gas exploration licences and delivering a managed phase-out of oil and gas extraction,” said Ken Penton, UK climate campaigner for the international NGO, Global Witness. “This must include funding a just transition for oil and gas workers and their communities to ensure they can benefit from the new green economy and do not suffer the fate of UK coal miners and their communities.”
Read the full story here.