Climate Minister: UK fracking and oil drilling are good for the environment | climate crisis

New fracking and exploration for oil and fuel within the North Sea is inexperienced and good for the surroundings, the brand new local weather minister in Les Truss stated Wednesday.

Graham Stewart insisted that granting greater than 100 licenses to corporations to drill within the North Sea, masking almost 900 websites, and begin fracking operations throughout the countryside, had been inexperienced insurance policies. Members of Parliament instructed the Environmental Audit Committee that new fossil gasoline exploration would assist the UK attain internet zero by 2050.

“It is good for jobs, good for the economic system, and it is good for the surroundings,” Stewart stated. He argued that as a result of UK oil and fuel manufacturing was on a downward trajectory, quicker than the IEA required, opening new fields was inexperienced as a result of it will have a decrease carbon impression than importing oil and fuel that had been extracted in a much less sustainable method. He described the extraction of fossil fuels pioneered by Shell and BP within the North Sea as “world-leading”.

“Produce [oil and gas] Domestically solely half of emissions associated to manufacturing and transportation are attributable to importing them from everywhere in the world.” “When it comes to the economic system and the surroundings, native manufacturing is an efficient factor and we should always all fall behind… It’s good for the economic system, good for jobs and prevents us from offering cash to doubtful techniques.”

The committee corrected Stewart on the problem of fuel imports. The UK produces 45% of its fuel domestically, and imports 38% not from a doubtful system, however from Norway, which has the world’s highest requirements for fuel extraction and has banned fuel flaring for many years – burning fuel, producing methane emissions and polluting the air. Combustion nonetheless happens in North Sea extraction.

Clive Lewis, a Labor member of the committee, additionally challenged Stewart, quoting the chief director of the Worldwide Vitality Company saying that there needs to be no new oil and fuel drilling after 2021 if the world is to stay inside the protected limits of world heating and obtain the net-zero emissions goal by 2020. 2050.

Lewis additionally cited UCL Vitality, which stated the event of recent oil and fuel fields within the UK was incompatible with limiting international warming to 1.5 levels Celsius within the Paris local weather change settlement. Lewis referred to the Tyndall Heart for Local weather Change Analysis, which stated wealthy nations ought to halt oil and fuel extraction to maintain the world on monitor to restrict international warming to 1.5 levels Celsius.

We’ve got 38 new oil and fuel tasks within the pipeline, and now your authorities is permitting a further 100 licenses to be granted. Will this assist us attain internet zero by 2050? Lewis requested.

Stewart replied, “Sure.” “Why? As a result of even within the best-case situation manufacturing will go down… the concept that… operating all these new oil and fuel licenses… will spill oil and fuel into the world, undermining internet zero… effectively, no, as a result of we’re importers , internet, we’ll proceed to function till 2050…so our manufacturing is anticipated to say no quicker than what the IEA says ought to occur globally.”

“The business within the North Sea Basin is dedicated to a manner that’s distinctive world wide to cut back emissions round this manufacturing by 50%,” he added.

Graham Stewart.
Graham Stewart. Picture: Anadolu Company/Getty Photos

“It… exhibits why it is sensible to assist the oil and fuel business on this nation.

“They’ve developed new applied sciences to cut back combustion, and now you are seeing corporations like BP and Shell export that to different components of the world. It is extra environment friendly, it is good for emissions and we’re enjoying the main function now we have to play within the transformation.”

Lewis replied, “So I hear what you are saying, nevertheless it appears to me, and I think about, from the viewers’s perspective, that you simply’re speaking about 100 new licenses, extra drilling, extra oil popping out of the bottom. It sounds such as you’re peeing on our heads and telling us it is raining.”

Stewart additionally famous that Lord Dippen, chair of the Local weather Change Committee, the federal government’s authorized adviser, warned that future oil and fuel manufacturing within the UK risked undermining the credibility of its international management on local weather change, and despatched the mistaken sign to the world.

However Stewart disagreed: “You’ve got given me these assurances from these numerous our bodies.”

“Scientific analysis, I believe it is referred to as,” Lewis stated.

Stewart continued, saying he did not get the purpose: “How does internet zero distinction for us to supply a number of the greenest oil and fuel on this planet, on such a descending scale?”


New Zealand proposes taxing cow burps and urine to tackle climate change

The New Zealand authorities on Tuesday proposed taxing the greenhouse gases cattle produce from burping and urinating as a part of a plan to deal with local weather change.

The federal government stated the farm tax could be the primary of its form on the planet, and that farmers ought to be capable to offset the price by charging extra charges for climate-friendly merchandise.

However farmers shortly condemned the plan. The business’s important lobbying group, Federated Farmers, stated the plan would “rip the center out of a small New Zealand city” and see farms changed by timber.

Federated Farmers President Andrew Hoggard stated farmers have been attempting to work with the federal government for greater than two years on a plan to chop emissions that will not scale back meals manufacturing.

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FILE – A photograph taken on August 10, 2022 exhibits cows being milked on a dairy farm close to Cambridge within the Waikato area of New Zealand. (William West/AFP through Getty Photos)

“Our plan was to maintain farmers in agriculture,” Hoggard stated. As an alternative, he stated, farmers would promote their farms “so shortly that you simply would not even hear the canines barking on the again of the pickup truck as they drove.”

Opposition lawmakers from the conservative ACT celebration stated the plan would successfully improve emissions all over the world by shifting agriculture to different international locations that had been much less environment friendly at making meals.

New Zealand’s farming business is important to its financial system. Dairy merchandise, together with these used to make toddler method in China, are the nation’s largest supply of exports.

There are solely 5 million individuals in New Zealand however there are about 10 million cows and dairy cows and 26 million head of sheep.

Huge business has made New Zealand uncommon in that about half of its greenhouse fuel emissions come from farms. Livestock produce the gases that heat the planet, particularly methane from livestock burps and nitrous oxide from their urine.

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FILE – Photograph taken on August 10, 2022, exhibits an aerial view of cows on a dairy farm close to Cambridge within the Waikato area of New Zealand. (William West/AFP through Getty Photos)

The New Zealand controversy is a part of a broader international account of agriculture’s influence on the atmosphere and steps that some say are essential to mitigate.

Within the Netherlands, farmers dumped hay bales on roads and drove tractors alongside busy highways to protest authorities proposals to scale back emissions of dangerous pollution.

In New Zealand, the federal government has pledged to scale back greenhouse fuel emissions and make the nation carbon impartial by 2050. A part of that plan features a pledge that it’s going to scale back methane emissions from cattle by 10% by 2030 and by as much as 47% by 2050.

Underneath the federal government’s proposed plan, farmers would begin paying for emissions in 2025, and costs have but to be set.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated all cash collected from the proposed farm tax could be returned to business to fund new know-how, analysis and incentive funds to farmers.

“New Zealand farmers are set to be the primary to scale back agricultural emissions on the planet, positioning our largest export marketplace for the aggressive benefit they create in a world more and more conscious of the place their meals comes from,” Ardern stated.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor stated it was an thrilling alternative for New Zealand and its farmers.

“Farmers are already affected by the influence of local weather change with extra droughts and common floods,” O’Connor stated. “Taking the lead on agricultural emissions is sweet for the atmosphere and our financial system.”

The Liberal Labor authorities’s proposal traces again to the same however unsuccessful proposal by a earlier Labor authorities in 2003 to tax cattle for methane emissions.

Farmers additionally vehemently opposed the concept on the time, and political opponents derided it as a “fart tax” – though a “belching tax” would technically have been extra correct as a result of most methane emissions come from belching. The federal government finally deserted the plan.

In keeping with opinion polls, Ardern’s Labor Social gathering has fallen behind and slid from the primary opposition Nationwide Social gathering since Ardern received a second time period in 2020 in a landslide victory of historic proportions.

If the Ardern authorities can not attain settlement on the proposal with farmers, who wield vital political affect in New Zealand, it can seemingly make it tougher for Ardern to win re-election subsequent yr when the nation returns to the polls.