I believe that there is no response to the climate crisis that does not confront the problem of fossil fuel supply head on. As things stand, the UN has warned that countries are on course to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with limiting average global temperature increases to 1.5°C. The International Energy Agency makes clear that the pathway the world needs to take to get to a net zero energy system by 2050 involves no new oil and gas fields being approved for development beyond projects already committed to as of this year.
It is therefore vital that we reach an international agreement on a managed and fair phase out of fossil fuels across the globe. To do this, we need the UK Government to show the leadership they spoke of often as host of the G7 in the run up to the COP26 climate conference in September. Unfortunately, I am concerned that plans to develop the Cambo oil field could instead undermine the effort to foster international action on this issue.
Seeking to drill for more oil and gas simply sends the message that the Government does not take the climate emergency seriously and has not accepted the urgent need to phase out fossil fuel production despite its rhetoric. I do not believe we should risk undermining our international credibility in this way at such a critical time ahead of COP26. This decade is crucial to avoiding complete climate breakdown and COP26 is a vital opportunity to ensure that goal is achieved. Given the UK has benefitted from industrialisation and historically contributed disproportionally to the climate crisis we have a duty to the way in establishing a global commitment to tackling this crisis.
I can assure you that I will continue to support efforts to press the Government on this issue and I am aware that Greenpeace are considering legal action. The Labour Party recognise the importance of a green recovery from this pandemic and will continue to call for an end to new fossil fuel supply, alongside urgent investment in renewables and clear plans for a fair transition to them for people and places.