Oil and Gas UK says the sector is a “major asset” in the fight to reduce carbon emissions (Letters, August 2). But it is the oil industry that has blocked climate action for the past three decades. OGUK touting its “net zero by 2050” ambition – which only covers operational emissions and completely ignores the much larger “scope 3” emissions from the combustion of produced fossil fuels – is ludicrous. In addition, the UK’s operational emissions record is catastrophic.
The government’s North Sea Transition Agreement has failed to address the two fundamental issues of the energy transition – setting a clear path to gradually reducing oil and gas production, and backing this up with adequate support for workers and affected communities. Where other countries have ended the licensing of oil exploration, the UK government maintains its policy of mandating the ‘maximization of economic recovery’ of oil and gas, which means companies must extract the slightest drop. They claim it is necessary for energy security, but the controversial Cambo oil field, currently under government scrutiny, is expected to export 80% of its production.
There are other options, with much better long-term prospects. As an oil worker recently told me, anyone familiar with oil drilling is in a good position to switch to drilling for geothermal heat pumps.
Head of oil and gas transition, Greenpeace UK