Bioregional has pledged only to work on new projects that are fossil fuel-free as part of an industry campaign to #EndGasNow and spur the property industry into action to tackle the climate emergency
Bioregional joins coalition backing Labour’s pledge to ban new North Sea oil and gas
Bioregional has signed a letter from a coalition of environmental groups and trade unions, calling on the Labour Party to hold firm on its pledge to ban new North Sea oil and gas.
The 139-strong group represented millions of members across the UK, and included Greenpeace UK, Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance, The Climate Change coalition, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.
Labour has announced a policy of no new oil and gas developments.— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) June 5, 2023
Good. We support that.
We urge @Keir_Starmer to stand by this, invest in renewable energy and give details on how Labour will support workers transition from fossil fuels to secure green jobs.
In the face of mounting pressure, the letter urged Sir Keir Starmer to “stand firm on Labour’s policy of no new oil and gas developments and its significant investment in well-planned, nature-positive renewables and energy efficiency, and to confirm more details on how Labour will support workers to transition from fossil fuels to good quality, secure green jobs during your speech in June.”
The letter was covered exclusively in the Guardian on 4 June, before Labour publicly confirmed its policy on both BBC and Times Radio.
New oil and gas developments are simply incompatible with a liveable future. In 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA), outlined that the “exploitation and development of new oil and gas fields must stop this year and no new coal-fired power stations can be built if the world is to stay within safe limits of global heating and meet the goal of net zero emissions by 2050”.
NEW: 139 orgs including the RSPB, Women's Institute and the CPRE have written to Labour in support of their plan to ban new oil & gas projects.— #StopRosebank (@StopCambo) June 4, 2023
Labour must now outline a clear path to support workers transition from fossil fuels to good, green jobs.https://t.co/09oLbNfEaH
Beyond the catastrophic climate impacts of new fossil fuel production, the letter sets out how - as we’ve seen over the past year - North Sea oil and gas won’t protect us from price spikes in global markets, nor will it protect millions of households from being plunged into fuel poverty.
We echo the calls for Labour to lay out more details regarding a just transition for industry workers and green job creation over the coming weeks.
The letter is available to read in full below. A full list of signatories can be found here.
Dear Sir Keir Starmer,
Labour is right to oppose new oil & gas developments
CC: Angela Rayner MP, Rachel Reeves MP and Ed Miliband MP
Thank you for your opposition to new UK oil and gas developments. In the midst of a British energy affordability crisis and global climate breakdown, we welcome the strong position you have taken, which is required to tackle these two critical policy challenges.
Moving beyond oil and gas extraction has never been more important. We believe that political leadership in the 21st century involves working to secure a liveable planet, achieve lower bills for households, enhance our energy security and improve economic opportunities across the country. New oil and gas fields only take us further from those goals.
The incompatibility of new oil and gas fields with a safe climate is clear from the analysis of countless credible institutions. Moreover, a range of experts have called for new developments to be halted. This includes the International Energy Agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the World Health Organisation, the UN Secretary-General, and the government’s own Net Zero Tsar, Chris Skidmore MP. The bottom line is that existing fossil fuel infrastructure will push the world past the critical 1.5°C threshold. We simply cannot build anymore.
More North Sea oil and gas, which companies are free to export, is also not the route to energy security. The UK government has admitted repeatedly that domestic drilling won’t cut energy bills. As we have learned in the last year, North Sea oil and gas won’t protect us from price spikes in global markets, nor will it protect millions of households from being plunged into fuel poverty. Moreover, current production comes with billions of pounds in subsidies to an industry that is making record profits. The only way to ensure we have secure, affordable energy is to accelerate well-planned domestic renewable energy production and improve the energy efficiency of our buildings - policy areas which you have taken leadership in. New oil and gas fields put more money in the hands of rich energy companies and foreign governments whilst leaving Britain colder and poorer.
The transformation of the North Sea’s future must be rooted in the needs of workers and their communities. Last week around 1,650 workers walked out in a dispute over jobs, pay and conditions. Workforce surveys show that workers and their unions want more investment in domestic manufacturing and assembly of renewables as well as clear pathways out of high-carbon jobs. If no new fields are approved, modelling by Transition Economics shows that with the right policy support, job creation in clean energy industries can exceed the number of displaced oil and gas jobs by more than three-fold.
Fossil fuels are not the answer to lowering bills, creating jobs, rescuing the planet from runaway climate change or making Britain a clean energy superpower. Oil & gas expansion will also undermine the UK’s global climate leadership at a time when it is desperately needed. Backing a new future for the North Sea seizes the opportunity to re-power the British economy, keep energy affordable, and secure our climate.
We urge you to stand firm on Labour’s policy of no new oil and gas developments and its significant investment in well-planned, nature-positive renewables and energy efficiency, and to confirm more details on how Labour will support workers to transition from fossil fuels to good quality, secure green jobs during your speech in June.