Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said North Sea oil and gas licences are the pragmatic option for the country.
In an interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari, the Prime Minister said that given that the UK will continue to be reliant on fossil fuels for its energy needs even with net zero by 2050, he supports homegrown energy.
When asked if increasing fossil fuel production undermines net zero targets, Mr Sunak replied that the country will continue to decrease reliance on fossil fuels in the long run even with an increase in production in the short term.
The Prime Minister explained: “It is better for our security so we’re not more reliant on foreign dictators like Vladimir Putin, it’s good for our economy and jobs – 200,000 people are employed in that industry and I’d like to support them.
“It’s also good for our NHS because it generates an enormous amount of tax revenue that we can use to pay for the NHS.
“And lastly, it’s better for the environment, because if I have to get that energy from halfway around the world and ship it here, it will come with three or four times the carbon emissions.”
Nick Ferrari challenged Sunak‘s comments, quoting Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres, who said: “The two truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuel fuels.”
The Prime Minister defended his decision adding that out of all the G7 countries, the UK has decarbonised the fastest and will continue to lead the way to net zero.