Dash for gas as temperatures soar

Energy Companies, Environmental Policies, Fossil fuels

The ‘dash for gas’ and oil as temperatures soar is reported across media in worrying news that last year was the warmest on record. It is generally accepted that this is a result of human-caused climate change and has also been influenced by the natural El Niño weather event. The news comes just weeks after approval was granted for more oil and gas licences in the North Sea.

A bill is now before Parliament to establish a new system under which licences for oil and gas projects in the North Sea will be awarded annually – this ‘dash for gas’ has angered ‘green’ MPs in all parties. Chris Skidmore, a former Conservative energy minister, announced he was resigning as MP for Kingswood over the bill, provoking a by election.

Last year was about 1.48C warmer than the long-term average before people started burning large amounts of fossil fuels, Copernicus, the EU’s ‘Earth Observation Programme’, reports. Almost every day since July has seen a new global air temperature high for the time of year, analysis shows. Sea surface temperatures have also broken previous highs.

Greenpeace campaigner Aakash Naik. said that: “To stop the climate crisis accelerating, oil and gas must stay in the ground, but the UK government is poised to hand the industry annual licences to keep drilling for years to come in a false pursuit of energy security. Real leaders would stop fossil fuel companies cashing in on climate catastrophe and force them to start paying for the damage they are causing around the world.”

These global records are bringing the world closer to breaching key international climate targets, with Met Office scientists believing temperatures could increase again this year, rising to 1.5°C more than temperatures between 1850-1900.