UK support for fossil fuels at home and abroad must end now

OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly, they don’t always reflect the views of this post. If you have anything you would like to share, please contact us and of course your thoughtful comments are welcome below.

This from Maggie Nelmes of Ventnor shares this open letter to Isle of Wight Conservative MP Bob Seely. Ed


Dear Bob Seely MP

I am writing to you, as your constituent, to ask you to attend the backbench debate “COP26 and limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 ° C” on Thursday, October 21.

Please call on the UK government to end all exploration, production and financing of fossil fuels, including the withdrawal of support for oil extraction on the Isle of Wight, in the Cambo field ( North Sea) and Horse Hill (Surrey), the Whitehaven Coal Mine (Cumbria) and a gas mega-project in Mozambique.

Licenses issued
The government issued licenses about seven years ago to oil companies to drill under more than half of the island, in my opinion in an area of ​​very unstable geological faults, with severe water shortages. requiring the import of a quarter of our needs from the continent.

I believe there is a very real danger that our drinking water will be polluted with petroleum, chemicals and radioactive substances from deep underground that flow into our rivers. Air pollution, soil contamination, but above all global warming leading to climate degradation and threat to life on Earth, are all the result of the extraction of fossil fuels.

Poorly prepared for UKOG application
The Isle of Wight Council was ill-prepared for the UKOG planning request – no island plan and no waste and minerals plan with no mention of oil and gas as it did not updated since 2000.

So how can she defend the island from what in my opinion are nefarious developments like this?

3,400 objections minimized
Council officials, while recommending planning permission, attempted to minimize the number of objections they received following two public consultations.

They say a thousand, count them, and you will find some three thousand four hundred objections. And some 4,500 people have signed a petition against this development, presented to the Council last week.

Government action needed
The government must step in now and withdraw all licenses to extract fossil fuels.

Thank you for attending the debate on October 21 and, whatever the outcome of the Planning Committee’s decision, speak up for the good of the island, the planet and all life on Earth.

Guterres: “Code Red for Humanity”
In just two weeks, the UK will host the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called IPCC’s latest report, the world’s leading climatologists, “code red for humanity”, adding that it “must spell the end of coal and fossil fuels , before they destroy our planet “. Countries should stop all further exploration and production of fossil fuels ”.

No change in government behavior
The UK wants to be a climate leader. The eyes of the world are on us. But our government has not changed its behavior.

Four examples illustrate this:

  • Mozambique gas project: the government is funding a gas mega-project in Mozambique with $ 1.15 billion in public money – a project that has already contributed to local humanitarian problems and will have catastrophic impacts on the climate and the environment if it is completed.
  • Cambo oil field, west of Shetland: the government plans to approve the development of this new oil field, containing 800 million barrels of oil. This could produce oil beyond 2050, when the UK is committed to achieving net zero emissions. Emissions from burning all of Cambo’s oil would be ten times Scotland’s annual emissions.
  • Horse Hill, Surrey: A local resident is challenging the County Council’s decision to grant a building permit for oil extraction here, months after declaring a climate emergency. The challenger is opposed by the Council and the developer. And by the government, which is effectively backing a project that would extract oil almost to its own target date of net zero.
  • Whitehaven Coal Mine, Cumbria: The government is considering granting a license for a new coal mine for steelmaking. The climate change committee has said this will increase global carbon emissions, and the European steel industry – the main market for the mine’s coal – is moving away from coal.

The UK cannot claim to be a world leader on climate change while continuing to support these projects.

UK support for fossil fuels must end now
The climate crisis requires action. We must end British support for fossil fuels, at home and abroad. This means more proposals for new fossil fuels in the UK and more funding for dirty energy projects abroad.

Please take the floor in this debate and call on the government to end its support for oil drilling on the Isle of Wight and these four projects, and to set a date to end all exploration, production and financing of fossil fuels. .

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