UK unveils climate checkpoint plan for future oil and gas developments

The government has launched a consultation on its design which will be used to assess future oil and gas licences

The UK Government has unveiled plans for a new climate compatibility checkpoint for the oil and gas industry.

It has launched a consultation on its design that will apply to any future oil and gas licences to ensure they are aligned with the government’s climate change commitments.

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

The checkpoint will be used before every future oil and gas licensing process to ensure new licences are awarded only on the basis that they are aligned with the UK’s climate goals, including the 2050 net zero target.

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 new checkpoint will be used on top of existing measures that already apply to oil and gas developments in the UK, including 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.

The government is seeking views on the proposed principles, structure and content of the checkpoint until 28th February 2022.

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