UK launches new legislative programme
The UK government presented its legislative programme for the year ahead to parliament May 11, with decarbonisation on the agenda. The UK is to host the COP 26 summit later in the year, which will be an opportunity to attract investors into new business opportunities.
The prime minister, Boris Johnson, has ambitions to raise the target for emissions reductions and create a green industrial revolution around carbon capture and storage, greater electrification and the replacement of methane with hydrogen. He has created a ten-point plan for the transition and has also committed to "level up" the regions, where many traditional industries are no longer competitive globally.
Offshore industry group OGUK said that the government's renewed commitments to COP 26 and net zero "could support a UK-led clean energy revolution, with the recently agreed North Sea Transition Deal being central to this."
OGUK CEO Deirdre Michie said: "In this important COP 26 year, today’s Queen’s Speech reinforces the need for industry and government to harness the UK oil and gas sector’s 50 years of energy expertise, ensuring the UK can show real global leadership in tackling climate change. OGUK is clear that this can spark a UK-led global clean energy revolution, with the UK oil and gas sector at its heart."
“With the UK expected to continue to use oil and gas as part of a diverse energy mix for some years to come, as the Climate Change Committee has pointed out, it is essential we accelerate the development of homegrown, greener energy."
The same day, the Global Warming Policy Foundation urged the government to follow the example of US president Joe Biden and hold the meeting online on grounds of public health, emissions and a £200mn ($280mn) cost to the taxpayer. It said that postponing it until next year as some climate campaigners have urged, would be a mistake "as it would be overshadowed by the US mid-term elections in November 2022 and its possible repercussions."
Biden's Leaders Summit on Climate held online earlier in the spring, said GWPF, has "already delivered an array of pledges from 40 national leaders."