Cross-party MPs and peers demand Rishi Sunak stops ‘maxing out’ North Sea oil and gas

50 parliamentarians have signed a letter to the Prime Minister calling on the UK Government to re-establish green leadership

North Sea oil and gas extraction

A group of 50 cross-party MPs and peers have written to Rishi Sunak to demand the UK Government stops ‘maxing out’ North Sea oil and gas, and implement steps to re-establish the country as a climate leader. 

The Climate APPG, a group of cross-party UK parliamentarians working to tackle climate change, called for urgent action for the Prime Minister to ‘show leadership’ and restore the UK’s position as a global climate champion. 

MPs from across the political spectrum, including three Conservatives, have called for Sunak to end the licensing of new oil and gas fields and champion a Just Transition for the North Sea, helping build towards delivering on COP28 commitments. 

In a warning, the letter states how the Prime Minister’s commitment to maximise further oil and gas extraction “exposes the UK to accusations of hypocrisy” in its climate policy. 

Further demands include; to join the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) ahead of COP29, set up an ambitious finance goal, release a biodiversity plan, and appoint a climate envoy. 

The BOGA was formed at COP26 by the governments of Denmark and Costa Rica and now includes 24 members working to facilitate a just phase out of oil and gas production globally. MPs have highlighted that the Colombian Government, an oil producer of roughly similar size to the UK has joined and that Sunak should follow suit.

Sunak is also called on to provide finance to countries facing the worst climate impacts, as the letter highlights how the UK government is £2bn off track meeting its international climate finance goals.

Chair of the Climate APPG group, Caroline Lucas, said, “under this Government, the UK has lost any shred of credibility as a leader on the climate and nature emergencies” as she urged Sunak to take action on the demands. 

MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy, who signed the letter, said: “The government’s plans to ramp up oil and gas drilling would sacrifice the health of our planet to appease a few fossil fuel multinationals and their shareholders. Pleased to add my name to this cross-party letter, urging them to drop them.”

See here for the full list of MPs who signed the letter. 

(Image credit: Gary Bembridge / creative commons)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

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