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Leading climate scientists and academics urge the Prime Minister to take bolder action on UK oil and gas policy

Mon 25 October 2021

Oil rig

Ahead of COP26, Navraj Singh Ghaleigh has authored and coordinated an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the future of oil and gas exploration in the United Kingdom.

With recent climate events highlighting the worsening impacts of the climate crisis, the cost of delaying mitigation measures is becoming rapidly unsustainable. The letter, co-signed by 70 leading climate scientists and academics, argues that the remaining carbon budget does not allow for further oil and gas exploration, as highlighted by recent reports of the International Energy Agency, IPCC, and the consensus of the climate science. For the UK, this has direct consequences for COP26 and the UK’s credibility. 

As such, the signees are calling for the Prime Minister to bring forward specific measures to:

  • Stop investment and licensing for new oil and gas fields;
  • End the policy of Maximising Economic Recovery from North Sea oil and gas;
  • Introduce ambitious fossil fuel demand management policies to obviate the risk of future oil and gas imports;
  • Ensure a managed and just transition away from oil and gas production, redirect investment towards low-carbon industries, and ensure affected workers are able to transfer smoothly into these new sectors.

They state that these combined measures will be essential to deliver the 6th Carbon Budget and meet the country’s net zero target.

Read the full letter

Related links

Letter: Oil workers will require jobs in low-carbon economy (Financial Times, 25 October 2021)

Planned fossil fuel output ‘vastly exceeds’ climate limits, says UN (The Guardian, 20 October 2021)

Still need oil and gas!' Shell UK backs 'revolutionary' North Sea project (The Express, 19 October 2021)

‘Flatly inconsistent with the science’: Experts urge Johnson to stop new oil and gas (Ends Report, 18 October 2021)

Cop26: 70 climate scientists urge PM to end new oil and gas investment ahead of Glasgow summit (The Independent, 18 October 2021)