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Campaigners raise concerns over 'cosy' relationship between UK's oil regulator and fossil fuel industry

By illuminem briefings 🌎

Sep 04 2023 Β· 1 min read

Illuminem Voices
Oil & GasΒ Β·Β EnergyΒ Β·Β Upstream

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πŸ—žοΈ Driving the news: Meeting notes from the UK's independent oil and gas regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), suggest collaboration with the fossil fuel industry to frame a new public narrative for the continuation of North Sea oil and gas operations

πŸ”­ The context: These minutes come from a North Sea Transition Steering group meeting held on 9 May 2023
• Co-chaired by NSTA's Stuart Payne and Simon Roddy from Shell UK, the meeting featured representatives from various fossil fuel companies and Offshore Energies UK, an industry lobby group

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: Campaigners argue that such collaborative efforts indicate a close relationship between regulators and the oil and gas industry, which may impact unbiased, evidence-based decision-making related to the environment and public interest

⏭️ What's next: The impartiality of NSTA's decisions are being questioned, as they're simultaneously aiding fossil fuel PR efforts
• The focus is on whether NSTA will be objective, especially with projects like the proposed Rosebank oil field that seemingly conflicts with its climate goals

πŸ’¬ One quote: "How can the public be expected to trust its decisions if, at the same time, it's helping oil and gas firms with their PR? The last thing the UK needs right now is yet more misleading spin on oil and gas." (Tessa Khan, Uplift)

πŸ“ˆ One stat: Emissions from UK North Sea production activities have reduced by over 20% since 2018, with flaring being halved in the past four years, according to the NST

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