MP COLUMN: We cannot ignore the dangers of climate change

There is cross-party support for UK action to tackle climate change for the sake of us all.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 7:00 am

The UK will host a major international conference later this year. I know we have many pressing issues on our plate but we simply cannot ignore the real dangers of weird weather.

I’m pleased, therefore, that the UK has agreed a milestone deal to back the oil and gas industry’s transition to a low carbon future of clean, green energy, and supporting around 40,000 jobs, directly and indirectly.

The North Sea Transition Deal will maximise this vital sector’s capabilities, infrastructure and private investment to use new and emerging technologies such as hydrogen production, Carbon Capture Usage and Storage, offshore wind, and decommissioning.

Much of this sector is based in the North East which has helped boost our country’s energy security and the tax revenue to fund public services.

The new deal will support our companies to decarbonise in preparation for a net zero future by 2050. I hope it will attract new industrial sectors to the UK, develop our export opportunities, and win new high-value jobs.

Extracting North Sea oil and gas accounts for around 3.5 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions but this deal could cut pollution by up to 60 million tonnes by 2030.

Oil and gas also produces medicines, plastics, cosmetics and household appliances.

Protecting our climate and our economy can go hand in hand as we irreversibly shift in an orderly fashion from relying on fossil fuels.

Future oil and gas licences will bolster wider climate objectives, including net-zero emissions by 2050, and the UK’s diverse energy supply.

I’m happy to agree with Oil & Gas UK that this will unlock billions of pounds of investment and see government and industry work together to deliver a homegrown energy transition, realising innovative low carbon solutions that can be exported globally.

So far, so good but I will keep an eagle eye on progress and do my best to ensure that the warm words are delivered on for the common good.

Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP