The UK government has been accused of over-funding "dirty" energy - oil and gas projects. According to a study by the Liberal Democratic Party of Great Britain over the past 8 years (covering the last two terms of the Conservatives in Parliament), in total, the authorities have allocated 80 billion pounds (about $ 95.78 billion) for the oil and gas sector, and only 60 billion for "green" energy. ($71.84 billion). The Guardian writes about this, citing a study.
The study is based on data from the parliamentary and government archives, which were provided to the Liberal Democratic Party. They suggest that funding priority in favor of green projects only occurred in 2020, but since then, fossil fuel funding has started to pick up again. In the same year, the government tried to level the difference and increased investment in "dirty" energy by 10.7%, or 1 billion pounds, against only 1 million pounds, or 0.01% in favor of "green".
At the same time, in 2021, support for conventional energy has increased again, now by 20%, or by 2 billion pounds. Moreover, a fifth of all state support was for new projects and exploration. Representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party were extremely dissatisfied with such spending by the Conservative government, which pledged to reduce spending on "dirty" energy to zero and promote the development of renewable energy sources.
“It is very disturbing that a conservative government is allocating such a staggering sum to the fossil fuel industry. The Conservatives not only failed to properly tax the record profits of the oil and gas giants, they also showered these companies with taxpayer money, ”Vera Hobhouse, a member of the Liberal Democrats, quotes the publication.
She insists that the current government is to blame for the sharp rise in prices for electricity and heating, as it failed to increase taxes on traditional energy, whose companies generated record profits in 2022. Hobhouse believes that the government should have increased investment and support for renewable energy sources, then it would have been much easier to get through the 2022 heating season, since the UK could rely on an independent renewable energy sector.
Finally, the lack of investment in green energy is at odds with the stated goals of combating climate change, the party believes. Hobhouse notes that if they win the election in 2024, the Liberal Democratic Party will be much tougher on oil and gas companies and will prohibit new companies in the sector from listing on the London Stock Exchange, thus attracting funding for their projects.
British companies Shell and BP last year received 32 and 23 billion pounds of net profit. At the same time, Shell invested £10bn in new oil and gas projects last year, compared to £3bn spent on green projects. BP also announced in 2022 that it is cutting its green development program in favor of the company's traditional oil and gas business. A government spokesman, when asked to comment on data on financing of energy projects, called the figures manipulative and misleading. The authorities insist that the development of traditional energy is still extremely important for the energy security of the UK, so there are no plans to completely abandon them in the coming years.