Oil and gas expansion plans will quadruple emissions

6th December 2019 | Commercial Energy

Further gas and oil extraction in Scotland would nearly quadruple the UK’s fossil fuel-related climate emissions and is “incompatible” with tackling climate change, it has been warned. A report by a coalition of environmental charities says the UK is among the top 10 countries in terms of planning to increase oil and gas production over the next five years.

It claims expanding North Sea extraction as currently envisaged would far exceed the carbon emission savings from eliminating coal, with subsidies for the work adding twice as much carbon to the atmosphere as the UK’s coal phaseout saves. However, a spokesman for the UK oil and gas industry criticised the report as “disappointing” and misleading.

Oil and gas

The Scottish Government has said oil and gas are likely to remain “vital” to the nation’s economy and energy needs. In 2018, the volume of oil and gas production in Scotland is estimated to have increased by 4.6 per cent to the equivalent of 77.2 million tonnes of oil, accounting for 82% of the UK total.

Oil and gas produced in Scotland in 2018 alone was estimated to be climate-wrecking fossil fuels. We know that the Scottish Government adopts the same position as the UK Government in terms of supporting continued exploration and development of oil and gas …This position is completely incompatible with tackling the climate emergency.

Oil and Gas UK’s upstream policy director Mike Tholen said, “This is a disappointing report which misrepresents production data and ignores the fact that prematurely shutting down domestic oil and gas would only increase UK reliance on imports. This would offshore the emissions linked to domestic demand at the same time as sacrificing the benefits the industry offers such as jobs, taxation, infrastructure and the same engineering companies we need to deliver the transition we all want to see.”

He claimed the UK offshore oil and gas industry was already taking action to help meet climate change commitments through its Roadmap 2035, which Mr Tholen said “sets out our positive blueprint … as we look to actually deliver the fair, inclusive and credible transition to a low carbon future.”

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