Officials are currently mulling over plans to water down net-zero rules in an effort to reduce the West’s reliance on Russia’s oil and gas exports. Since Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine, the UK, EU and the US pledged to reduce or end its imports of Russian energy. Now, officials are reportedly looking at a plan that would allow for new drilling projects to be given the green light on national security grounds.
These fossil fuel projects could go ahead even if the projects violates a ban on schemes that could foil the UK’s plan to reach net zero carbon emission by 2050.
This comes as the UK receives a major energy boost as a new gas field has been discovered under the North Sea off the coast of East Anglia.
According to offshore exploration and production company IOG, the field, which has the backing of US billionaire Warren Buffet, produced its “first gas” earlier this week.
The discovery could help the UK avoid the skyrocketing prices that are expected in the EU as Putin threatens to turn off the taps of the gas pipelines from Russia.
The Government is exploring various avenues to ensure the country’s energy security, including ending the ban on fracking and pushing for more energy imports from Saudi Arabia.
Ministers are also currently working on proposals that will relax so-called climate compatibility checkpoints for energy companies.
Drilling companies have to pass these stringent checkpoints in order to win drilling licences in North Sea oil and gas fields.
These checkpoints are designed to ensure that all future oil and gas projects meet strict criteria.
READ MORE: UK to avoid Putin’s EU energy wrath as huge new gas field found