Alok Sharma opposes government’s oil and gas bill

Posted at January 8, 2024 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Alok Sharma opposes government’s oil and gas bill

Alok Sharma, the former Business and Energy secretary and ex-COP26 chair, has stated that he will not be endorsing Rishi Sunak‘s oil and gas bill.

The bill, scheduled for parliamentary debate on Monday, proposes an annual licensing regime for oil and gas exploration contracts.

Its introduction has sparked controversy within the green faction of the Conservative party, with former minister Chris Skidmore announcing his resignation as an MP in response to the proposed legislation.

Alok Sharma, the Conservative MP for Reading West and President of the COP26 Glasgow climate summit in 2021, voiced his reservations on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Mr Sharma said: “I will not be voting for this bill.

“As it is currently drafted, this bill is a total distraction… it is a smoke and mirrors bill which, frankly, changes nothing.”

Alok Sharma added: “We saw this last autumn with the chopping and changing of some policies and actually not being serious about our international commitments. Just a few weeks ago at COP28 the UK Government signed up to transition away from fossil fuels.

“This bill is actually about doubling down on new oil and gas licences. It is actually the opposite of what we agreed to do internationally, so I won’t be supporting it.”

A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson told Energy Live News: “We’ll still need oil and gas for decades to come, even when we reach net zero in 2050, as data from the independent Climate Change Committee shows.

“It makes sense to make the most of our domestic supply, rather than shipping in liquefied natural gas with four times the emissions than domestically produced gas.

“These new licenses will not increase carbon emissions above our legally binding carbon budgets, but will provide certainty for industry, support 200,000 jobs and bring in tens of billions of tax that we can invest in the green transition and support people with cost of living.”

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