UK urged to follow Denmark in ending North Sea oil and gas exploration

(The Guardian, 6 Dec 2020) Britain’s credibility as climate champion rests on bold and urgent action, say campaigners.

Britain must end all oil and gas extraction in the North Sea as a matter of urgency if it is to maintain its position as a credible climate champion. That was the stark warning issued by green campaigners yesterday in the wake of last week’s decision by Denmark to halt its exploration for new North Sea reserves as part of its commitment to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change.

The Danish decision is an embarrassment for Boris Johnson who announced last week that Britain would take a lead in the battle against global heating by cutting national carbon emissions by 68% by 2030, a rate faster than any other major economy.

However, the UK has not announced plans to end exploration in the North Sea for new gas and oil fields or to halt extraction there – despite the established link between global warming and fossil fuel extraction and burning.

By announcing its North Sea ban last week, say campaigners, Denmark has undermined Johnson’s attempt to portray himself as a world climate leader next Saturday when he is scheduled to co-host a virtual Climate Ambition summit of world leaders.

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The Guardian, 6 Dec 2020: UK urged to follow Denmark in ending North Sea oil and gas exploration