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Government risks wasting billions on oil and gas production, campaigners warn

THE Westminster government risks wasting billions subsidising oil and gas production that is incompatible with global climate targets, campaigners warn. 

Representatives from the Paid to Pollute campaign have warned that plans to continue fossil fuel extraction would prevent Britain meeting its obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Analysis of new OECD data shows that from 2016 to 2020 companies received £9.9 billion in tax reliefs for new exploration and production and £3.7bn in payments towards decommissioning costs.

This is despite the International Energy Agency saying new investment in oil and gas projects must stop this year if governments are serious about the climate crisis.

Subsidies for UK oil and gas production are at the centre of a case that will be heard at the High Court on December 8 and 9. 

Climate activist Mikaela Loach said: “The UK has an obligation to be one of the first to move away from oil and gas production, deliver a just transition and, like Scotland, commit to financing communities that are already dealing with the impacts of the climate crisis.”

The OGA said their strategy was the primary tool to hold industry to account. 

A Westminster government spokesman said: “We cannot comment on ongoing legal proceedings.

“The UK does not give any subsidies to fossil fuels, and we follow the approach of the International Energy Agency. No other significant oil and gas producing nation has gone as far as the UK in supporting sector’s gradual transition to a low carbon future, as demonstrated by our North Sea Transition Deal.”

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