UK oil production increased since declaring climate emergency – new report

DRILL OR DROP?

A new report published today shows that the UK has increased its oil and gas production since declaring a climate emergency in 2019.

Rathlin Energy’s West Newton A site, 24 January 2019. Photo: Eddie Thornton

New fields totalling an extra 800 million barrels of oil have been brought into production in the last two years, according to the report by Friends of the Earth Scotland and Oil Change International.

The extra oil will create climate pollution equivalent to running Longannet, Scotland’s last coal power station, for more than 35 years, the organisations said.

The report comes just weeks before the UK hosts crucial COP26 international climate talks in Glasgow and decisions are due on new onshore and offshore oil fields.

It calls on the UK and Scottish governments to stop all new oil and gas field developments, end financial support for the fossil fuel industry and redirect investment and policy support to renewable energy.

There are 6.5 billion barrels of oil in UK fields that are currently producing or in development, the report said. Another 13.5 billion barrels is in fields earmarked for future development.

But the authors said there could not be new oil and gas developments in the UK if we are to meet our commitment to the Paris climate agreement goal of limiting dangerous warming to 1.5C.

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