Despite calls from the Climate Change Committee, the Environmental Audit Committee and the Mission Zero Review, the government is refusing to bring forward a ban on routine flaring and venting in the North Sea. As well as being highly polluting and contributing to climate change, this is a scandalous waste of gas.
The government fears that a ban would force some oil and gas fields to close earlier than planned, reducing domestic production and increasing imports from countries with higher emissions.
Our analysis of data from the North Sea Transition Authority suggests that this fear is ungrounded. Forcing companies to clean up their act sooner could bring more gas to market than might be lost by closing down the most polluting sites.
Liam Hardy, senior policy analyst, Green Alliance
Jasmine Dhaliwal, policy adviser.