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UK: Green energy transition backed by the historical North Sea deal

Thursday, March 25th 2021 - 17:55 UTC
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According to Oil & Gas UK, the Deal could support and create up to 40,000 direct and indirect jobs across the UK. According to Oil & Gas UK, the Deal could support and create up to 40,000 direct and indirect jobs across the UK.

The United Kingdom becomes the first G7 country to agree a landmark deal to support the oil and gas industry’s transition to clean, green energy. The UK government announced on Wednesday a landmark North Sea Transition Deal is agreed with industry and high-skilled oil and gas workers will not be left behind in the transition to a low carbon future.

The deal announced today in a press release by the UK government, aims to set early targets in the oil and gas sector to reduce emissions by 10% by 2025 and 25% by 2027 and, by 2030, it has committed to cut emissions by 50%.

The sector deal between the UK government and oil and gas industry will support workers, businesses, and the supply chain through this transition by harnessing the industry’s existing capabilities, infrastructure and private investment potential to exploit new and emerging technologies such as hydrogen production, Carbon Capture Usage and Storage, offshore wind and decommissioning.

Through the Deal, the oil and gas sector, largely based in Scotland and the North East, government and trade unions will work together over the next decade and beyond to deliver the skills, innovation and new infrastructure required to decarbonise North Sea production. Not only will the Deal support existing companies to decarbonise in preparation for a net zero future by 2050, but it will also create the right business environment to attract new industrial sectors to base themselves in the UK, develop new export opportunities for British business, and secure new high-value jobs for the long-term.

An orderly transition is crucial to maintaining our energy security of supply, supporting high-value jobs, and safeguarding the expertise necessary to achieve a lower carbon future.

The UK government will therefore introduce a new Climate Compatibility Checkpoint before each future oil and gas licensing round to ensure licences awarded are aligned with wider climate objectives, including net-zero emissions by 2050, and the UK’s diverse energy supply. This Checkpoint will use the latest evidence, looking at domestic demand for oil and gas, the sector’s projected production levels, the increasing prevalence of clean technologies such as offshore wind and carbon capture, and the sector’s continued progress against its ambitious emissions reduction targets.

Extracting oil and gas on the UK Continental Shelf is directly responsible for around 3.5% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Through the package of measures, the Deal is expected to cut pollution by up to 60 million tonnes by 2030 including 15 million tonnes from oil and gas production on the UK Continental Shelf - the equivalent of annual emissions from 90% of the UK’s homes - while supporting up to 40,000 jobs across the supply chain.

 

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