Campaign group Net Zero Watch has welcomed the decision by the UK Government and the North Sea Authority to give the go-ahead to the giant Rosebank oil and gas field off the coast of Shetland.
The field could provide a significant proportion of the UK’s fossil fuel needs. At nearly 500 million barrels, Rosebank is the UK’s biggest undeveloped oil and gas field.
Net Zero Watch director Andrew Montford said:
"Nobody seriously disputes that the UK will require fossil fuels for decades to come – even the Climate Change Committee agrees. So the Government’s decision to sweep aside the green opposition that has been holding the development back for two decades is very welcome."
The decision comes close on the heels of Rishi Sunak’s belated recognition of the failure of current Net Zero policies, and his announcement of a shift in emphasis. Mr Montford said:
"The poll bounce since Sunak’s Net Zero delays suggests that the only way the Conservatives can dream of retaining power is to dump as much of the ‘green crap’ as they can before the election, and the Rosebank decision shows that Mr Sunak knows it."
The decision comes as governments across Europe are weakening their commitment to decarbonisation policies, as recognition of their futility and the unbearable costs spreads. The continent has significant fossil fuel resources, which will be vital to keep the lights on in coming decades.
Net Zero Watch has repeatedly warned ministers and MPs in London and Brussels that they have a choice between exploiting Europe’s untouched fossil fuels or inevitable relegation of the continent to second division status.
Further information: European Fossil Fuels: Resources and Proven Reserves (pdf)
Director, Net Zero Watch