The Energy Security Strategy

As a Vice-Chair of the Environment APPG and a member of the Conservative Environment Network, a caucus of Conservative politicians with an interest in our environment, I understand the questions that many constituents have on the Government's energy policy.
 
Given the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and scientific evidence around global climate change, it is imperative that the UK and the rest of the world take action. I therefore welcome the Net Zero Strategy which sets out the long-term plan of cutting emissions by 2050.
 
As the wholesale price of gas and energy has increased in the UK and Europe due to various factors, including an increase in demand following the end of lockdowns in various countries, and also in light of Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine. High global gas prices are hiking up bills, and the Prime Minister has been clear that it’s right we move away from dependence on Russian gas and increase our self-reliance in our energy security.
 
With respect to concerns about fracking, the Government is considering all options and it has always been clear that it will take a precautionary approach and  be open to shale gas exploration providing certain conditions are met. The Government has commissioned the British Geological Survey to advise on the latest scientific evidence around shale gas extraction. However, it has always been clear that fracking should only proceed if the science shows that it is safe, sustainable and minimises disturbances to local communities.
 
Therefore, as outlined in the new Energy Security Strategy, Britain's focus will be to accelerate the deployment of wind, nuclear, solar and hydrogen power, while supporting the production of domestic North Sea oil and gas in the nearer term - which could see 95 per cent of UK electricity by 2030 being low carbon. These measures will be central to weaning Britain off expensive fossil fuels, which are subject to uncontrollable and volatile prices, and will provide both cleaner and more affordable energy, and energy security.
 
While the UK is driving down demand for fossil fuels on the path to net zero, it is important to recognise that there will continue to be ongoing demand for oil and gas while we transition to low carbon energy. However, it should be noted that, overall, producing gas in the UK has a lower carbon footprint than importing it from abroad. And, renewable energy is cheaper than gas so the long-term solution is to move away from it. However, in recognition that more must be done, the Government is accelerating renewables with annual Contract for Difference auctions.
 
We need to protect ourselves from price spikes in the future by accelerating our move towards cleaner, cheaper, home-grown energy, and I am glad to see the Government is delivering on this.