OGUK's 2035 sustainability blueprint accused of lobbying

The UK's offshore oil and gas industry (OGUK) has published its Roadmap to 2035: A Blueprint for net-zero, setting out five themes to help ensure that the oil and gas industry can continue to provide energy to the UK while supporting net-zero carbon emissions goals. The website outlines the key actions that the industry must take in order to meet these goals while continuing to extract and transport oil and gas. These actions include, monitoring carbon metrics, facilitating discussion between operators, regulators and government to create a carbon reduction plan, supporting the development of carbon capture and hydrogen technology and business, clarifying regulation of carbon capture and hydrogen technology, assessing the potential for alternative offshore power generation and being on track to reduce CO2 emissions from offshore oil and gas production from 24 million tonnes of oil equivalent to 0.5 million tons of oil equivalent.

While the industry intends to reduce CO2 emissions from its production processes, the continued emissions from the combustion of oil and gas in the form of fuel used by consumers is concerning to people like Scottish Green Member of the Scottish Parliament, Mark Ruskell who has said that the UK must stop the use of fossil fuels altogether if it wishes to reach its climate goals: “The science cannot be any clearer on this. Fossil fuels must be left in the ground. We already have far more fossil fuel in existing reserves than we can afford to burn. Even non-fuel uses of hydrocarbons generally end up in products which will end their lives in an incinerator." Ruskell has pointed out that oil and gas production in the North Sea has risen by 20 per cent since 2014, despite fears of climate emergency. He claims that the industry’s blueprint is an example of “overt lobbying” which puts the industry’s interests ahead of the UK’s survival. WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks joins him in this sentiment “The industry must urgently commit to measures to slash emissions produced from burning its fossil fuels, not just its own carbon emissions from flaring.”

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