Caroline Lucas, Green MP is urging the government to “rule out” awarding new oil and gas licences for the protection of the climate.
Lucas said during Commons Energy Security and Net Zero questions, that new licences will cost the taxpayer and it will be a “disaster for the climate.”
The Green MP said, “New oil and gas licences simply won’t deliver energy security since the oil and gas is sold at global prices on international markets.
“But it would cost the taxpayer dearly while being a disaster for the climate.
“So will the Government finally do what’s needed, rule out new licences and instead commit to measures to genuinely make the UK energy-secure, including a nationwide street-by-street home insulation programme, unblocking onshore wind and installing new solar on every roof?”
The Energy Secretary, Grant Shapps branded Lucas suggestion as a “bonkers policy” not to award new licences.
Shapps told MPs, “We’ve gone from 14% of our homes being insulated under the previous Government to nearly 50%, it will be 50% this year.
“We’ve got an energy taskforce set up to reduce the usage of energy and make it more efficient.
“But I have to say, her party’s policy and the official Opposition’s policy of importing all of the oil and gas that we require by not providing new licences, is simply insane.
“It means that every single family in Britain would be subject to the next tyrant like Putin. It means that the carbon used would be double that which is taken from the North Sea, it is bonkers policy.”
Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead said in the House of Commons that the government has “broken” their promise over onshore wind as only two has been built since February 2022.
Whitehead said, “Not much chance of community engagement there, to be honest.”
He added, “The Community Secretary promised that the onshore wind ban would be completely lifted by the end of April this year, so why has the government broken that promise?”
Andrew Bowie MP interjected and said, “When they (Labour) left office in 2010 there was less than 7% of renewables on the grid, now it’s 43%.”
Whitehead said in response, “It’s generally now understood that government consultation is likely to lead to only minimal relaxation of planning rules and that (onshore wind) will effectively remain banned.”
Bowie added, “I really do wish that the Labour Party would stop talking down what we are doing on renewable electricity and I would remind the House that consultation on onshore wind finishes on July 7.”