Clean energy offers hope but Rosebank approved

Campaigns, Central Government, Fossil fuels

Rosebank approved whilst clean energy offers hope. That’s what we are now seeing as the driving down of greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s energy sector to net zero continues. Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C remains possible due to the record growth of key clean energy technologies, though momentum needs to increase rapidly in many areas, according to a new edition of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) landmark Net Zero Roadmap and that means ending the licensing of new oil fields.

The new roadmap sets out a global pathway to keep the 1.5 °C goal in reach, providing a comprehensive update to the ground breaking original report that was published in 2021 and has served as an essential benchmark for policy makers, industry, the financial sector and civil society. The 2023 Update incorporates the significant changes to the energy landscape in the past two years, including the post-pandemic economic rebound and the extraordinary growth in some clean energy technologies – but also increased investment in fossil fuels and stubbornly high emissions, for example, in the UK Rosebank approved.

“Keeping alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C requires the world to come together quickly. The good news is we know what we need to do – and how to do it. Our 2023 Net Zero Roadmap, based on the latest data and analysis, shows a path forward,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “But we also have a very clear message: Strong international cooperation is crucial to success. Governments need to separate climate from geopolitics, given the scale of the challenge at hand.”

On the downside the UK’s largest untapped oil field, Rosebank has been approved by regulators it was announced today (27 September). Situated 80 miles west of Shetland it is estimated it could produce 300 million barrels of oil. The UK government welcomed the decision saying that it would raise billions of pounds and “make us more secure against tyrants like Putin”.

The decision was not however welcomed by the Scottish government – First Minister Humza Yousaf said he was “disappointed” with the decision.

“It won’t make the slightest difference to people’s energy bills”, the Green Party MP Caroline Lucas claimed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning.

The Norwegian state oil company Equinor – which is the majority owner of Rosebank – confirmed that during a briefing for journalists this morning.

“If the UK needs Rosebank oil, it will go to the UK through open market mechanisms”, said Arne Gurtner, Equinor’s senior vice president for the UK.

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Image credit: “File:Gullfaks oil platforms.jpg” by tjodolv is licensed under CC BY 2.0.