Government launches review into net zero compatibility of oil and gas licensing regime
The UK Government is to review its policy on the future UK offshore oil and gas licensing regime as part of the wider aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
The review will be carried out by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to ensure the Government has the information needed to plan for future oil and gas production in the UK, in a way that is aligned with tackling climate change. Initial findings and next steps will be published in the upcoming Energy White Paper.
Over half of the UK’s electricity comes from clean sources including wind and solar energy. However, oil and natural gas are still required for heating, cooking and transport, and vital to the production of many everyday essentials like medicines, plastics, cosmetics and household appliances. This is likely to remain the case over the coming decades as the UK transitions to low carbon solutions.
The independent Committee on Climate Change has recognised the ongoing demand for oil and natural gas, including it in all scenarios it proposed for how the UK meets its target for achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Over half of our electricity now comes from low-carbon sources, power from coal is at an all-time low, and we have more installed offshore wind capacity than any other country in the world. While we have decarbonised our economy faster than any other major country over the past two decades, the oil and gas sector will continue to be needed for the foreseeable future as we move toward net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Our review into future oil and gas licensing rounds will ensure we are able to meet our net zero target, while protecting jobs across the country as part of our plan to build back better with a greener, cleaner economy.”