Less than one in ten believe more gas and oil production will reduce energy bills – poll

‘Approving Rosebank is an act of economic vandalism which only serves the fossil fuel industry and is woefully out of touch with public opinion.'

Drilling at the controversial Rosebank oil and gas field got the go ahead this week, having been approved by UK regulators. The decision was met with intense criticism. Politicians and environmentalists voiced concerns that the move will keep Britain hooked on costly fossil fuels.

Friends of the Earth said it was “yet another colossal failure of leadership from a government that seems determined to ignore the scientific warnings on the climate crisis!”

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak, who ignited criticism last week for rolling back on key Net Zero targets, said drilling at Rosebank, was the “right long-term decision” for securing oil supplies in the UK.

As the row over Rosebank, the UK’s largest untapped oilfield, and Sunak’s Net Zero U-turn continues, new polling reveals that the majority of UK adults prefer renewables over fossil fuels for lower energy bills, and national energy security.

The poll was conducted by YouGov for Global Witness, campaigners for a more sustainable, just and equal planet. It surveyed 2,244 adults in the UK.

The polling found that just one in ten UK adults are of the opinion that more oil will lead to a reduction in energy bills. When quizzed about which energy source they believe would be best for Britain, 56 percent said renewables. Just 8 percent of respondents chose oil, gas and coal.

Over half – 53 percent – said they support renewables to reduce UK energy bills, with just 10 percent believing oil, gas and coal would be the best choice. 42 percent of respondents would favour winding down North Sea oil and gas production. Just 33 percent said they would prefer to exploit all economically viable supplies.

Dominic Kavakeb, co-director of campaigns at Global Witness, said that the public are clear, “even if the government is not: new oilfields like Rosebank won’t make the UK safer, and they won’t lower energy bills.”

“By a large margin, the UK public want to see more renewables, not more oil and gas.

“The government claims that Rosebank will strengthen our energy security, but the vast majority will be exported onto global markets.”

Kavakeb added that approving Rosebank is an “act of economic vandalism” which “only serves the fossil fuel industry and is woefully out of touch with public opinion.”

 Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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