Liz Truss, Britain’s new Prime Minister, has recently said that she wants more investments in nuclear power and an increase in oil and gas extraction from the North Sea. UK Green Party has quickly reacted, warning this move will only deepen UK’s dependence on fossil fuels and damage the climate and local communities. Besides, the party is demanding the government to help reduce energy prices for people who are already struggling.
In a recent statement regarding rising energy costs, UK Prime Minister said that she aimed to foster long-term security of supply and did not support further windfall taxes on industry.
“We can’t just deal with today’s problem. What we need to do is increase our energy supplies long term. That is why we will open up more supply in the North Sea. That is why we will build more nuclear power stations. That is why we will get on with delivering the supply as well as helping people through the winter.”
Truss has already been asked to expedite the approval of more exploration licenses to boost domestic fuel supplies. The North Sea lobby recognized £26 billion (CAD 39.4 billion) of potential investments in the area, enabling the UK to meet half of its oil and gas demand.
The Greens’ plan: Invest in a cleaner, greener, more affordable future.
Carla Denyer, Green Party co-leader, described Truss as a: “Disaster for the UK and the climate”.
Likewise, Adrian Ramsay, Green co-leader, severely criticized the Prime Minister’s plan in a new request for renewable energies:
“The plan to grant 100 new licenses to oil and gas companies to expand their climate destroying industry and continue raking in eye watering dirty profits is inexplicable while we still hold the COP Presidency, and when we know that renewables are far cheaper.
The only logical explanation for this reckless plan, along with cutting the so-called green levy, is that Truss is making an ideological choice to curry favour with friends and Tory Party donors in the oil and gas industry“.
Ramsay emphasized what the Greens are proposing to tackle skyrocketing energy prices: bring energy companies back to public ownership to stabilize the market.
In addition, the Green Party has proposed:
- Large scale investment in renewables.
- Nationwide insulation programme.
- Heavier windfall tax on the fossil fuel industry and more taxes on the wealthy.
- To cap energy prices at the October 2021 level of £1,277. Higher income households must progressively pay more because of the higher use of energy.
Calling on Truss to take real action on the cost-of-living crisis
In her acceptance speech, Truss showed clearly that her priority was “dealing with people’s energy bills but also dealing with the long-term issues on energy supply.”
“The Truss plan still leaves energy unaffordable for millions of households. It risks forcing many people to choose whether to heat or eat this winter”Adrian Ramsay, UK Green Party co-leader
For the UK Greens, the problem remains that the new Prime Minister is not planning to insulate homes to make them warmer, healthier, and cheaper to maintain.
As per 2020, the UK had 29.3 million domestic properties, nearly 40% built before World War Two, but newer homes also often lack basic insulation.
According to research from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, people in poorly insulated homes could spend £968 more on their annual gas bills than those in highly insulated homes.