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Response to energy insecurity must not fuel the climate fire

The UK Government’s new energy security strategy is expected next week; it must be used to tackle the climate emergency.

18 Mar 2022

UK Parliament building, Westminster. Image credit: Marcin Nowak/ Unsplash

Next week, we’re expecting the UK Government’s Spring Statement and new energy security strategy to be announced. These must be used to tackle the climate emergency, not support more dirty and expensive fossil fuel production in the UK. 

The UK Government’s decision to ban Russian oil imports, which are fuelling the catastrophic conflict in Ukraine, was an important step. But we understand that next week’s announcements could include increasing domestic oil and gas production in the UK. This would ignore the devastating impacts of the climate crisis and would not be the best way of addressing the cost of living crisis at home, which is hitting so many of us so hard.

The Ukraine conflict has exposed how fragile our energy system is if we depend on fossil fuels. We need a secure and clean energy system in the UK and we already know the solutions. Alternatives – such as clean energy and insulating our homes – are cheaper, better for our health and provide long-term solutions, not only to our energy security but to the cost of living crisis and the climate emergency.

The climate crisis is growing more urgent each day, we can’t put our response on hold. People in poorer countries are already paying for climate change with their homes, livelihoods and lives. Without urgent and sustained action this decade, we could see catastrophic global temperature rises that will put millions of lives at risk.

Just days ago, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, ‘Green electricity isn’t just better for the environment, it’s better for your bank balance.’ But now he could be about to announce increases to the UK’s oil and gas production. Instead, we need the new strategy to make commitments that accelerate a just energy transition – increasing energy efficiency and scaling up renewables.

If the UK government does announce support for more fossil fuel extraction in the UK, it will seriously undermine the UK’s climate credentials and COP26 legacy, ignoring cheaper, safe and fast solutions we need, and breaking trust with climate-vulnerable communities around the world.

Take our click-to-tweet action to call on the UK Government to use next week’s announcements to end our dependence on polluting fossil fuels and accelerate a just energy transition. It’s time to invest in green, clean and healthy solutions that address energy security, the cost of living crisis and the climate emergency. 

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