Boris Johnson rips up climate rulebook as he moves to replace Russian supply of oil and gas | Climate News

Russia supplies around 8% of the UK’s oil products and less than 5% of its gas.

We aren’t as exposed as our European counterparts who rely much more heavily on Russia, particularly for gas, but weaning this country off Vladimir Putin’s hydrocarbons is still going to be a challenge.

It is why Boris Johnson finds himself in the unedifying position of heading to Saudi Arabia, a country that recently executed 81 people in a day, to request alternative supplies.

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How Russia affects our energy bills

And it is why the government is scrambling to flesh out the detail of a new British Energy Security Strategy.

This is likely to include new investments and commitments to renewable energy.

Solar, hydro and wind power combined made up nearly 45% of the UK’s energy mix last month.

The government wants that number to be higher.

Along with nuclear power, which made up nearly 15% of the energy mix in February, these energy sources are not vulnerable to a volatile global oil and gas market.

They are viewed as the only long term way to get to grips with three critical challenges: decreasing energy prices, increasing energy security, and tackling climate change.

Read more: Extinction Rebellion plan to block oil refineries next month to take a stand against fossil fuels

But it will take time to ramp up renewable provision and especially nuclear, which works in on a timeline of decades, not days.

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Climate protest outside BAFTAs

And so we can also expect the government to announce renewed backing for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea.

This is likely to make climate campaigners, the green wing of the Conservative party, the Labour benches and others very, very uncomfortable.

Not only will they feel it constitutes an abandonment of the spirit of the climate change conference COP26, but they will know the UN and the International Energy Agency have been unequivocal.

Read more: Europe left scrambling to find a way to wean itself off a heavy reliance on Russian gas

To keep global warming targets within reach, there must be no new extraction of fossil fuels.

But the rulebook has been ripped up, and right now, Boris Johnson is more focused on diminishing Putin’s power than his position as a global climate leader.

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