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U.K.’s Rishi Sunak to Authorize Over 100 New Oil and Gas Leases in North Sea

HeadlineAug 01, 2023

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says he will authorize more than 100 new licenses for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea to maximize domestic extraction of fossil fuels. Sunak announced the plan on Monday during a visit to a Shell gas terminal in northeastern Scotland. Sunak insisted his plan is compatible with the U.K.’s commitments to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: “Now, when it comes to our energy security, we are still going to need oil and gas. Twenty-five percent of our energy will come from oil and gas even in 2050. Far better that we get that from here at home.”

Geologists say the Rosebank field in the North Sea holds about a half-billion barrels of oil, more than enough to prevent the U.K. from meeting its climate commitments. Friends of the Earth Scotland said in a statement, “Burning oil and gas is driving extreme weather and killing people on every continent, yet Rishi Sunak is gleefully encouraging the arsonists to go and put more fuel on the fire.”

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