British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has declared war on Just Stop Oil today, July 31, as he vowed to ramp up exploitation of North Sea oil and gas reserves.
Just Stop Oil is a nonviolent civil resistance group demanding the UK Government stop licensing all new oil, gas and coal projects.
The Prime Minister vowed to approve hundreds of new licences to drill for fossil fuels off the United Kingdom coast as he seeks to hit Labour over the cost of living.
The UK Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer has suggested the party would ban all new applications to drill in the North Sea if it wins the next election – but would create jobs through a massive push towards green technology and jobs.
Daily Mail reported that the Prime Minister on Monday said new licences were vital to avoid the UK being beholden to ‘dictators’ like the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, through energy imports.
However, Sunak, who will fly to Aberdeenshire from London this morning, refused to also ease the planned 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars.
The Government, together with the North Sea Transition Authority stressed future licensing would continue to be subject to a climate compatibility test.
But environmental protesters, including Greta Thunberg, are already insisting that permission should not be given to develop the Rosebank oil and gas field to the west of Shetland.
Sunak, however, insisted that having new licensing rounds was “absolutely the right thing to do”.
He stated, “Even when we reach net zero in 2050 a quarter of our energy needs will still come from oil and gas, and domestic has production has about a quarter of a third of the carbon footprint of imported gas.
“So not only is it better on our energy security not to rely on foreign dictators for that energy, not only is it good for jobs, particularly Scottish jobs, it is actually better for the environment because there is no point in importing stuff from half way around the world with two to three times the carbon footprint of the stuff we’ve got at home, that makes absolutely no sense.”