Allowing new oil and gas licences is one of the worst proposals I have ever seen says Wera Hobhouse MP

23 Feb 2024
1.5degress

"Allowing new oil and gas licences is one of the worst proposals I have ever seen"

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath and Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change, slammed the government during the remaining stages of the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill on Tuesday 20th February. 

Mrs Hobhouse joined MPs in criticising the government for persevering with the Offshore Petroleum Licensing (OPL) Bill and failing to take climate change seriously. She deplored the fact that the consequences of delaying climate action are already playing out in the UK. This February is on course to break a number of unprecedented temperature records

The Bath MP noted that the OPL Bill, by guaranteeing annual oil and gas licences in the North Sea, sees the UK renege on their international commitments to phase down fossil fuels, made at COP28 at the end of 2023 of which Mrs Hobhouse was an attendee. 

Hobhouse also slammed the government for its dishonesty in claiming that the Bill would secure jobs and achieve energy security. Instead, she argued that the legislation would do nothing to ensure energy security, but rather send a signal to the international community that the UK is no longer a global leader on climate action. 

As current projections exceed targets to limit temperature rises to 1.5C, the Bath MP expressed dismay at the government’s plans for more regular oil and gas licensing in the North Sea, arguing that they would do nothing to bring these temperatures down. 

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath and Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change, commented:

“This Bill, which proposes allowing new oil and gas licences, is one of the worst proposals I have ever seen. The dangers of not reaching net zero are staring us in the face. Anyone in their right mind, who cares about securing a future for our children and grandchildren, would be opposed to it. 

“It is shameless that the government is trying to push through this Bill on the grounds that it will create jobs, curb energy bills or ensure the UK’s energy security. This is a fiction behind which the Conservatives are hiding their plans to delay urgent climate action.” 

 

1.5 degrees to stay alive