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Environmental audit committee endorses findings of Edinburgh research team

Fri 20 January 2023

Oil rig off coast

On 5 January 2023, the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee published its report, ‘Accelerating the transition from fossil fuels and securing energy supplies. Based on the work of the Oil and Gas Transitions Project, Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, Senior Lecturer in Climate Law at Edinburgh Law School and the project’s Principal Investigator, led the evidence submitted to the inquiry, which has been cited approvingly in the final report (see paragraphs 184, 204, 205, 219, 223).

Additionally, the recommendations on the North Sea closely map the project’s findings, in particular, the need for ‘Just Transition’ principles to frame the reskilling of offshore oil and gas workers for jobs in the net zero economy (Recommendation 37), and deploying Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) technology to decarbonise heavy industry as part of the North Sea Transition Deal (Recommendation 41).

The submission drew on two project reports:

  1. Living in the present, making the future: UK scenarios for the phase out of oil and gas (2021), and
  2. The Future is Built on the Past: Just Industrial and Energy Transitions in the UK and Scotland (2022)

These findings also draw upon Ghaleigh’s recent co-authored paper in Nature, which argues that the greatest barriers to CCUS deployment are economic and social, including legal. Overcoming these barriers with strengthened incentives, and programs to address concerns inhibiting public acceptance, will enable the storage of CO2 at climate relevant scales.