The UK government under Boris Johnson leadership is now showing solidarity towards green energy by making an official statement as it releases a new policy that states that 10 Downing Street will not support any fossil fuel extraction or oil refining projects abroad.
According to the new policy, there will be no lending or financial guarantees given towards projects that intend to pollute the environment. This new rule now bars the UK government’s chief foreign lender UK Export Finance (UKEF) from going ahead with a previously agreed package of £1 billion to support an oil extraction project in Mozambique.
With this move, no British company can indulge in any fossil fuel excavation activity with a foreign entity either.
Under the new rules, no support may be offered to fossil fuel extraction or oil refining projects from 2021, apart from limited funding for gas-fired power plants “in exceptional circumstances”.
Since 2010 – UKEF has financed £6bn of fossil fuel projects. Financing has been provided to some of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world. Set up a century ago, UKEF has financed oil and gas projects abroad with the single-minded aim of supporting British businesses abroad.
But this is going to be altered as Boris Johnson administration has to keep up its part of the bargain of reducing the carbon emissions in the UK. The United Kingdom had agreed to zero carbon emission targets to be reached by 2050 under the Glasgow Climate Talks conducted in February this year, just before mayhem broke loose in Britain over the Covid-19 led lockdowns and subsequent slowdowns in the economy.
According to a government spokesperson who spoke the leading British media agency, “The government keeps its support for the fossil fuels industry under review to ensure the UK reaches its net-zero target by 2050.” It is going to be a phase-wise reduction but the time taken might get extended looking at the slowdown in the economy due to prolonged lockdown situations.
Over the last five years, the UK’s emission rates have been consistently falling. One major reason is their preference for harness wind and solar energy over fossil fuel-driven power generation.
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