Skip to main content

Oil and Gas: Net Zero by 2050

Volume 698: debated on Tuesday 6 July 2021

What assessment he has made of the implications for his policies on oil and gas of the International Energy Agency’s energy scenario aligned with the 1.5° C goal of the Paris agreement, outlined in the report “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector”. (902268)

The independent Climate Change Committee agrees that the UK will need oil and gas as we deliver net zero by 2050. No other significant oil and gas producing nation matches the UK’s action on hydrocarbons in the economy, while our withdrawal of support for international fossil fuels, our North sea transition deal and our new checkpoint for licensing provide a global exemplar. Our climate compatibility checkpoint will also operate from 2022. Any reduction in domestic production would be replaced by increased imports.

The International Energy Agency’s report is clear that there can be no new investment in fossil fuel projects if the world is to meet its climate targets, yet the Government are set to approve the Cambo oilfield, which, thanks to a loophole, will not even be subject to its derisory climate checkpoint because the original licence was granted over a decade ago. Is it really the Minister’s understanding that this new North sea oil project will not add to global heating because of the date on the original licence? Will the Government think again about approving this oil project when they are meant to be showing local leadership ahead of COP26, or, as with the Cumbria coalmine, are they waiting for the US climate envoy to intervene instead?

The checkpoint will apply to all future licence rounds. Those projects already licensed are already accounted for in our projections for future oil and gas production. Projects such as Cambo are already licensed and are going through normal regulatory processes. Estimated emissions from all the existing licences are already accounted for in our forward projections.