The new oil and gas developments in the North Sea contradict the UK’s climate goals.
That’s the key finding of a new report by the San Francisco-based non-governmental organisation Global Energy Monitor (GEM), which estimates that new oil and gas development in the North Sea could produce up to 984 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and contribute to the UK exceeding its carbon budget for 2023-2037 by a factor of two.
The report, which analyses the potential production from the 21 largest undeveloped fields in the North Sea, stresses that the development of new North Sea fields would not reduce energy prices for Britons amid the current energy crisis or in the long term.
The GEM says that further development could lead to more than three times as much oil and gas being extracted than what is currently in reserves already in development.
Analysts predict that the combustion of all these reserves would yield more carbon dioxide than is compatible with the UK’s legally binding carbon budgets for 2023-2027.
Scott Zimmerman, Researcher for GEM, said: “The energy crisis in Europe is a chance for the UK to kick its fossil fuel dependency.
“But by leasing these new fields, the UK is showing it’s still hooked on hydrocarbons.”