Andy Mayer, Energy Analyst at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on reports that six North Sea oil and gas fields are to be approved for drilling
The unblocking of North Sea licences for oil and gas exploration is welcome. It does, however, show that investment decisions were being blocked by political, not economic or environmental objections. This remains the case for onshore fracking - which is still banned.
The UK still needs fossil fuels while it transitions to a low carbon future. Leaving it in the ground' means dirtier, more expensive imports, denying the UK investment, jobs, and the taxes that come from domestic production.
The government decided it needed to adopt an extreme Net Zero message for COP26, to support its narrative of leading the world' on tackling climate change. It's now, as the Prime Minister said, time to grow up', to stop posing and start drilling.
Notes to editors
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