Why bother? UK urged to scrap green plans and start fracking as energy bills soar

Dan Wootton criticises plans for Net Zero on GB News

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With the cost-of-living nightmare sending shockwaves through the nation as millions of households face fuel poverty as a result of rising gas bills, Westminster is scrambling for ways to swerve the crisis. According to critics of net zero, the policy which aims to get the UK completely off fossil fuels by 2050, the UK is shooting itself in the foot by blocking access to its own cheap energy supplies.

When CAR26 Director Lois Perry was asked “why we are even bothering” with net zero on GB News, she responded: “We shouldn’t be.

“The public don’t want it. Tory voters don’t want it – according to our polling 70 percent don’t want it.

“Nobody wants it. The times, the mood, has changed. There is a zeitgeist…people are questioning the science now and they are seeing that it is really dodgy and people aren’t prepared to pay for it.”

She later added: “We are completely capable of having domestic energy security, and really, really quickly.

“We can be fracking in 12-18 months. And we have got lots of other things we can be doing. There is coal, there is North Sea oil. But we mustn’t let ourselves get into the position of Germany.”

Fracking was banned in 2019 following the publication of scientific analysis that exposed the risk of the shale gas extraction process – linking it to seismic activity.

While a petition calling on the Government to end the ban has racked up nearly 20,000 signatures so far, the state is still refusing to budge.

It responded to the petition back in June: “The Government does not agree we should lift the pause on hydraulic fracturing at this time given the lack of new, compelling evidence that shale gas extraction can be done safely.”

Many climate campaigners would also argue that any new gas extraction should not be allowed due to the urgency of the climate crisis.

For instance, the UK is investing in Shell’s proposed Jackdaw oil field in the North Sea.

But activists have set up Stop Jackdaw, urging Shell to stop producing oil and gas at the site.

And it comes as the energy giant has raked in huge profits while Britons struggle to heat their homes due to soaring bills.

Lauren MacDonald, a climate activist from the group, said: “It is obscene that Shell can be allowed to make this much money when many millions of families will be unable to afford to heat their homes. Profits of this size, when so many families will suffer, means the system is broken.

“The only way to fix it is to move away from fossil fuels and invest in long-term solutions such as insulating homes and cheaper renewable energy.”

She later added: “We can no longer rely on the highly-volatile, climate-wrecking fossil fuels to provide a safe, secure and affordable energy supply to UK households.”

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And while Ms Perry questioned the science behind net zero, an international panel of climate scientists have warned in a damning report of a “code red” for humanity over climate change.

In the IPCC’s landmark study, experts warned that climate catastrophe can be avoided, but the world needs to act fast.

This is why Governments across the world are racing to slash emissions, switching out fossil fuels like oil and gas in favour of renewable technologies.

And Westminster’s climate advisors, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), have stressed that “we need to act urgently across the whole of society and influence” to transition to a net zero economy.

But the green transition has required a shutdown of coal plants, the dirtiest fossil fuel, as well as a deal to decarbonise the North Sea oil and gas industry, which was struck in 2021.

The has sparked fury among net zero critics like the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG).

This is the group of backbench Tory MPs calling for the strategy, which is part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, to be scrapped.

NZSG chair Craig Mackinlay previously told The Times: “I am not a climate-change denier. I’m concerned that our electors of the future will be huddling round their heat-pump radiators and paying off the debt on an electric vehicle they never wanted either as they look wistfully at China, Indonesia and other nations still enjoying cheap energy from some of the dirtiest fossil fuels.”

But even China has its own net zero targets, although it is aiming to slash all emissions 10 years later than Britain in 2060.

And while Ms Perry claimed net zero is scuppering the chances for the UK to boost its domestic energy security, the prime minister begs to differ, arguing that this can be done using clean power sources.

He tweeted earlier this week that “we need a flow of energy that is affordable, clean and above all secure” that is “made in Britain, for Britain”.

Mr Johnson added: ““With spikes in the cost of energy, household bills soaring, I know people up and down the country who will partly blame this great ambition for Net Zero, for the cost of living challenges that we face.

“And we have got to be realistic, hydrocarbons will be an important part of our transition.

“But I want to tell you that the cost of failing to reach Net Zero by 2050, the cost of failing to tackle climate change will be much, much greater.”

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