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UK government seeks views on oil and gas ‘climate checkpoint’

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The UK government has launched a consultation on the design of a new climate compatibility checkpoint for the oil and gas industry, following its commitment, earlier this year, to introduce the checkpoint as part of the North Sea Transition Deal to support the oil and gas sector in the transition to a lower carbon future.

The checkpoint will be a new measure carried out before each future oil and gas licensing process to ensure that new licences are only awarded on the basis that they are aligned with the UK’s climate change commitments, including the target to reach net zero by 2050.

The consultation, now open for views, sets out potential tests that could be used to assess new licenses, including domestic demand for oil and gas, the sector’s projected production levels, the increasing prevalence of clean technologies such as carbon capture and hydrogen generation, and the sector’s continued progress against emissions reduction targets.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: ‘This new checkpoint will be key to our plans to support the oil and gas sector during its net zero transition. It helps safeguard the future of this vital UK industry as we create more opportunities for green jobs and investment across the country.’

The consultation will give interested parties, including oil and gas industry stakeholders, the opportunity to input to the design of the new climate compatibility checkpoint. Respondents are invited to give their views on the proposed principles, structure, and content of the checkpoint.

Using the feedback given from this consultation, the checkpoint will then be established as a new measure to assess potential future licences. If the evidence suggests that a future licensing round would undermine the UK’s climate goals or ability to reach net zero, it will not go ahead, says the government.

The new checkpoint will be an additional layer of scrutiny applied to future licences, on top of the existing measures. These include the environmental assessment carried out by the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommission (OPRED) and the net zero impact assessment carried out by the Oil and Gas Authority as part of its consent process for new licences.

Jasmine gas platform in the North Sea
Source: Harbour Energy

News Item details

Journal title: Energy World

Subjects: Oil and gas Net zero

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