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Sunak to allow oil and gas exploration at sites intended for offshore wind

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The UK government has decided to allow fossil fuel exploration under sites designated for offshore wind farms, a move announced by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA)
• This decision, allowing about 30 companies to search for oil and gas, has sparked intense criticism from environmentalists and political opponents, citing a backpedal on climate commitments

🔭 The context: This policy shift comes amidst broader changes under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's administration, which has seen a rollback of several climate initiatives
• Critics argue this undermines the UK's climate leadership, while supporters claim it's necessary for energy security and economic growth

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The exploration of fossil fuels beneath wind farm sites represents a significant contradiction in efforts to combat climate change 
• This move could potentially decrease investor confidence in renewable energy projects and contradict the global shift towards sustainable energy practices

⏭️ What's next: The decision is part of a broader strategy to bolster national energy security while maintaining electoral support, but it could face significant opposition from environmental groups and the public
• The tension between renewable and fossil fuel projects is likely to intensify debates around energy policy and climate action

💬 One quote: "It’s hard to think of a worse use of clean electricity from windfarms than powering the dirty industry that’s driving the climate crisis," said Doug Parr, policy director at Greenpeace UK

📈 One stat: Approximately 100 licenses for oil and gas exploration are issued annually by the government, but only about 2% receive production consent

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