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E3G calls on the UK to end new oil & gas drilling & scrap oil & gas authority

E3G Press Release | London

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Pump-jack mining crude oil with the sunset.
Pump-jack mining crude oil with the sunset. Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash.
  • New country alliance launched at COP 26, Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance (BOGA) to phase down oil and gas extraction, led by Denmark & Costa Rica.
  • UK climate think tank E3G calls for UK to implement the policies to join BOGA as a core member, and to scrap Oil & Gas Authority and replace it with a Clean Energy Authority.
  • Additonally, E3G urges Government to end policy of Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) of oil and gas.

Story

The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) will be launched at the global climate summit COP26 by a group of countries including Denmark and Costa Rica. Members commit to phasing down oil and gas extraction, setting end dates for both licensing and production. E3G, the climate change think tank, urged the UK to join the alliance and scrap the Oil & Gas Authority, replacing it with a Clean Energy Authority in charge of developing the UK’s renewables potential, building a sustainable energy future for the North Seas, and delivering a managed and just phase-down of the oil and gas industry.

UK oil and gas policy is increasingly at odds with the country’s ambition to be a climate leader. The UK has a pipeline of 30 offshore oil and gas projects that are seeking approval by 2025, including the Cambo oil field. A North Sea Transition Deal launched by the Government earlier this year was condemned by civil society groups because it failed to end investment in new oil and gas fields. It was identified by the UK’s Climate Change Committee as one of the policy areas where the UK is most out of step with delivering on its climate targets. The International Energy Agency published their net-zero roadmap earlier this year in which they said that to be compliant with the 1.5C temperature target there must be no further investment in new oil and gas infrastructure beyond the end of this year. The United Nations recently endorsed this position in their Production Gap report, which found that oil and gas production had to decrease by 4% and 3% respectively every year until 2030 to get on track to 1.5C.

E3G says the UK’s regulator for the oil and gas sector is no longer fit-for-purpose. The Oil and Gas Authority is charged with delivering on net-zero targets while also having a legal duty to ensure we extract as much oil and gas as is profitable from the North Sea, which is a blatant contradiction in mission.

Quotes

Ed Matthew, Campaigns Director at E3G said: 

The Oil & Gas Authority is not fit for purpose. It needs to be scrapped, along with the legal duty of Maximising Economic Recovery of oil and gas. This agency is incapable of setting the industry on a path to net-zero or achieving a just transition for workers in the industry. It should be replaced with a Clean Energy Authority that is focused on building a sustainable energy future for the North Sea and its workers.

Euan Graham, Senior Researcher at E3G said: 

The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance represents a long-overdue shift in the geopolitics of fossil fuel supply. Countries are waking up to the reality of what we need to do to align oil and gas production with a 1.5C world: the UK needs to join the alliance and end licensing and investment in new oil and gas fields.

Available for comment

Please contact them directly:

Euan Graham, Senior Researcher (Clean Economy)

euan.graham@e3g.org | +44 (0) 7879 384 555 

Ed Matthew, Campaigns Director

ed.matthew@e3g.org | +44 (0) 7827 157906 

ENDS

Note to Editors

  1. UNEP Production Gap Report: https://productiongap.org/
  2. IEA Net Zero by 2050 Roadmap: https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050 
  3. Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance: https://www.beyondoilandgasalliance.com/
  4. Cambo oil field explainer: https://www.thenational.scot/news/19424397.cambo-oil-field-mean-climate-targets/
  5. Climate Change Committee’s Progress Report: https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/2021-progress-report-to-parliament/
  6. Pipeline of offshore oil and gas projects in UK up to 2025: https://policy.friendsoftheearth.uk/reports/tip-iceberg-future-fossil-fuel-extraction
  7. E3G is an independent climate change think tank accelerating the transition to a climate safe world. E3G specialises in climate diplomacy, climate risk, energy policy and climate finance.
  8. In 2018, for the third year running, E3G ranked the fifth most globally influential environmental think tank by the Global Go To Think Tank Index. 

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