Pope Francis released a message on the 25th May in advance of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (September 1st). He said that COP28 …‘must listen to science and institute a rapid and equitable transition to end the era of fossil fuel…..According to the commitments undertaken in the Paris Agreement to restrain global warming, it is absurd to permit the continued exploration and expansion of fossil fuel infrastructures  (also the IEA and IPCC)….The unrestrained burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests are pushing temperatures higher and leading to massive droughts’. He also criticised oil and gas fracking and “unchecked mega-mining projects”.

On the same day Graham Stuart, Energy Security and Net Zero Minister speaking at the Innovation Zero Conference in London, argued that new oil and gas licences in the North Sea were compatible with the UK’s Net Zero commitments, as they pass a ‘climate compatability test ‘, which fails to quantify the emissions produced by utilisation of the fuels.

Greenpeace UK Climate Campaigner Philip Evans stated that  “All new oil and gas drilling is incompatible with 1.5C,” …..”Don’t just take my word for it, this is also the view of the International Energy Agency, the UN secretary general, as well as countless academics and scientists.

“If the government had a shred of interest in limiting the impacts of the climate crisis it would reverse its decision to allow more fossil fuel production, and stop propping up an industry that’s destroying the planet. And by properly taxing the astronomical profits of oil and gas giants the government could begin upgrading the grid and start to unleash the full potential of renewables so we can all have cheap, clean power.”