Should the UK End North Sea Oil Exploration?
Jan 15 2021 Read 1243 Times
Climate change campaigners are calling for Britain to end oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and follow the lead of progressive nations like Denmark. Activists say ceasing operations is a matter of urgency if the nation it to uphold its reputation as a climate advocate. The calls come after Denmark announced plans to end exploration for new North Sea reserves and phase out operations completely by 2050.
Many have accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of not doing enough to address climate change and cut carbon emissions, with a recent announcement to slash national carbon emissions by 68% by 2030 considered inadequate. Campaigners assert the Danish announcement challenges Britain’s attempts to portray itself as a climate front-runner, with climate activist Ken Penton saying “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 licenses and delivering a managed phase-out of oil and gas extraction.”
Penton, who campaigns on behalf of international NGO Global Witness adds, “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.”
Denmark pledges to end North Sea exploration
Following a government vote, Denmark has pledged to skip the next round of North Sea oil and gas licensing and end hydrocarbon exploration in the region. While the country’s 55 existing platforms will continue to operate, the decision to withhold new licenses will conclude Danish fossil fuel production in the North Sea.
Greenpeace Denmark representative Helene Hagel says the vote has empowered Denmark with the confidence to “assert itself as a global frontrunner and inspire other countries to end our dependence on climate-wrecking fossil fuels”.
In comparison, the Johnson government has issued new emissions targets as advised by the climate change committee, including a pledge to cut emissions by 68% by 2030. Johnson says the target will play an important role in helping the country achieve its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Increased investment in offshore wind farms and hydrogen fuel technologies, combined with the phase out of diesel and petrol cars will also help Britain reduce its environmental footprint.
To find out more about the latest oil and gas news don’t miss ‘The intersection of sustainability and tribology’ with commentary from Dr. Raj Shah, David Phillips, Dr. Mathias Woydt and Mr. Nathan Aragon on behalf of Koehler Instrument Company.
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