Britain needs a new dash for gas to save us from the lunacy of net zero - by Philip Johnston

With the announcement of new drilling licences for oil companies in the North Sea, political reality is finally beginning to dawn on the government with regard to its Net Zero deadline. It also exposes the absurdity of its previous policy position according to Philip Johnston in today’s Telegraph 08.02.22:


“The prospect of new licences in the North Sea marks a significant political push-back against net zero, with Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, and Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, seemingly determined to make the policy more rational and voter-friendly. Some of the more unrealistic targets for phasing out petrol cars or banning gas boilers need to be revisited as well.


In any case, the UK is able to claim a fall in CO2 emissions in part because it outsources them elsewhere. Refusing to exploit our own reserves of gas while importing it from countries that have no renewable energy to speak of is mendacious. Continuing to import goods from countries that still burn vast amounts of coal surely does not help the planet in any way.


In these circumstances, it is idiotic to withhold approval to exploit Britain’s own oil and gas supplies in the North Sea, even if it does turn out to be the last hurrah for what was once seen as the nation’s economic salvation.”


According to Johnston, the U-turn marks the culmination of a thoroughly ill-thought through energy policy which goes back decades


“with incessant governmental interference in the market and a failure to invest in nuclear power and fracking leaving us dangerously exposed to price hikes and supply crunches. The driving force behind most of our problems is the 2050 net zero target now underpinned by statute law and international treaty commitments.”


And so, belatedly, we come full circle:


“Since natural gas accounts for more than half our primary energy consumption – and yet we import more than half of what we require – reviving North Sea investment is a no-brainer. Even the EU now recognises gas as a sustainable energy source to be used in the transition to a low carbon future.”


The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:



Article for the Telegraph by Philip Johnston - Britain needs a new dash for gas to save us
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