Thank you for contacting me about COP26 and gas and oil projects.
I appreciate you taking the time to contact me. Constituents have raised five specific cases with me: Mozambique, Whitehaven, Cambo, Horse Hill and Jackdaw.
It is essential if we are to keep 1.5°C alive that the UK encourages developing nations to move away from dirtier fossil fuels like coal. The UK's support for Mozambique’s project will help with their transition. The Government of Mozambique considers revenues from the LNG project as an important source of investment to support their energy transition, in line with its National Determined Contribution and its Paris Agreement commitments.
With regard to Whitehaven, the application raised planning issues of more than just local importance and a public inquiry was held, the outcome of which will be considered before any decision is made. This inquiry has now concluded and will be followed by the preparation of a report and recommendation for ministers to consider in due course.
I also appreciate you raising your concerns about the Cambo oil field. The original licensing consent for the Cambo oil field dates back to 2001 and the project is going through normal regulatory processes.
Horse Hill is being challenged in the Court of Appeal. I note your concerns and I will follow any developments closely.
Finally, I understand that proposals for Shell's Jackdaw development have been approved by the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED). This comes after negotiations between OPRED and Shell and I am aware that the Business Secretary has welcomed that an agreement has been reached. This has the potential to produce 6.5 per cent of Britain's gas output which is in line with the Government's plans to secure our domestic energy supply in the face of global events.
I appreciate your concerns about this, however, oil and natural gas are still required for heating, cooking and transport, and are vital to the production of many everyday essentials like medicines, plastics, cosmetics and household appliances. While I am glad that the Government is working hard to drive down demand for fossil fuels, there will continue to be ongoing demand for oil and gas over the coming years, as recognised by the independent Climate Change Committee, with the UK as net importers of both oil and gas. The Government is going to make better use of the oil and gas in the UK by giving the energy fields of the North Sea a new lease of life. You may also welcome that between 1990 and 2019 the UK decarbonised faster than any other country in the G7.
I am glad that the Government is working hard to drive down demand for fossil fuels. I do also appreciate that there will continue to be ongoing demand for oil and gas over the coming years, as recognised by the independent Climate Change Committee.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.