Last Wednesday, the U.K. government announced its final approval of a plan proposed by Shell to develop a new gas field in the North Sea. The Jackdaw field, located east of Aberdeen, has the potential to produce 6.5% of Britain's gas output. Production is expected to begin at the field in the second half of 2025 (BBC).
During a three-day hearing at London’s High Court, Friends of the Earth challenged the United Kingdom’s (U.K.'s) financing of a liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique. In July 2020, the U.K. government’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), approved $1.15 billion of funding through loans and guarantees for the $20 billion project. In December 2020, the United Kingdom then committed to ending overseas fossil fuel project support.
The U.K. government released its Net Zero Strategy this week, less than two weeks prior to COP26. The Strategy lays out a plan for reaching net zero emissions by 2050, mapping out funds for electric vehicles, nuclear and wind energy, carbon capture and storage, low-carbon heating systems, ecosystem restoration, and more (Reuters, BBC).
Greenpeace lost a case against the U.K. government and BP in Scotland's highest civil court, allowing BP to continue offshore drilling operations at the Vorlich site off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland. Drilling began at the site, located in the North Sea, in late 2020 at a rate of 20,000 barrels per day. The permit approved a total of 30 million barrels of oil (Bloomberg).
On June 3, the Bank of England (BoE)’s Governor, Andrew Bailey, stated the bank would seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with running its physical offices and printing banknotes to net zero by 2050 “at the latest.” The decision is in line with a larger push by the United Kingdom to improve its climate action agenda ahead of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be hosted by the country in Glasgow later this year (Reuters and
On April 1, the United Nations announced it would postpone this year’s climate change conference to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (UNFCCC). The talks, originally to be held November 9-20 in Glasgow, mark the five-year deadline for countries to update their national climate targets according to the Paris Agreement of 2015.
On February 27, Britain’s Court of Appeal ruled against an $18 billion proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport, stating policymakers had failed to consider the U.K.’s climate change commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement when designing the project (AP News, Reuters, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/27/heathrow-third-runw…
On July 11, Britain's maritime minister announced that all new ships ordered from 2025 onwards and destined for its waters must be equipped with zero emission technology in an effort to curb maritime pollution. The new requirements are part of the Clean Maritime Plan that includes a competition to find innovative ways to reduce maritime emissions and a call for evidence to reduce emissions in the United Kingdom's (UK's) waterways and on its domestic vessels.
The United Kingdom (UK) government is proposing to amend its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, which was agreed to under the Climate Change Act in 2008, to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The net zero target was recommended last month by the government's advisory Committee on Climate Change. According to the committee, there is a 50-50 chance of staying below the recommended 1.5°C temperature rise by 2100 if the UK and other countries achieve the target. For the full story, see https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48596775.
The United Kingdom has created 41 new marine conservation zones, ranging from Studland Bay near Bournemouth to the Goodwin Sands off the Deal coast in Kent. The newly-protected areas will cover 4,633 square miles of marine habitat, bringing the total number of marine protected areas around the British coastline to 355. Among the species and habitats that will benefit from the new protections are the short-snouted seahorse, the ocean quahog, ross worm reefs, and blue mussel beds. Each zone will be managed according to the requirements of marine life and local residents, including fishermen.