Despite efforts to reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas, the UK witnessed a surge in imports from other authoritarian regimes such as Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
These seven states have been categorised as authoritarian based on the criteria of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2022 Democracy Index.
This index assesses these countries across five dimensions: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture.
According to the report, the UK’s fossil fuel imports from Russia dropped to zero in January 2023, but this was compensated by a more than 60% annual increase in imports from other petrostates.
The total expenditure on energy imports in the UK exceeded £100 billion for the first time, with fossil fuel imports accounting for over £125.7 billion, analysts have estimated.
A government spokesperson told ELN: “We continue to work with international partners to maintain stability in global energy markets and boost our energy security.
“While we are accelerating renewables and nuclear as part of our plans to power up Britain, the transition to cleaner energy cannot happen overnight and we will continue to need oil and gas over the coming decades, as recognised by the independent Climate Change Committee.”