UK majority want to phase out oil, gas output: survey
Around two thirds of UK people believe the government should form a plan to phase out oil and gas production in the North Sea and divert spending towards green energies, a survey has shown, The Herald Scotland reported on June 8.
Environmental initiative Uplift commissioned the ICM Unlimited survey of 2,312 UK adults. Some 61% wanted the government to wind down oil and gas production, although 67% called for state financial support for affected industry workers. 63% believed spending should be redirected to low-carbon industries like wind and solar energy.
The majorities were larger in Scotland, where much of the UK oil industry is based, with 65% wanting a plan to phase out oil and gas and 66% calling for funds to be shifted towards low-carbon energy.
The survey comes after the International Energy Agency recently published a report that concluded that no further investment in oil and gas production is needed if the world is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. That conclusion has been strongly criticised as unrealistic and a risk to energy security by the industry.
The UK is under pressure to demonstrate its commitment to fighting climate change ahead of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November. The UK aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, while Scotland is striving to meet this goal five years earlier. UK authorities have adjusted their oil and gas licensing policy to reflect climate goals, but the government has said it will continue issuing licences for North Sea exploration and production. The survey indicated that only 27% were in support of further licences, however.