The Daily Telegraph
Truss fracking ambitions fuel opposition
LIZ TRUSS is set for a clash with the Government’s official climate advisers after they sought to shoot down her plans to revive fracking.
The climate change committee, which advises on emissions targets, said ambitions to lift the ban on fracking and expand gas extraction in the North Sea will not make a meaningful difference to consumer prices.
In a letter to the new Prime Minister, the committee said the gas reserves are also too small to bring down prices. Instead, they urged her to focus on improving energy efficiency of buildings and improving the market for renewable energy.
“Ninety per cent of the recent increase in the energy price cap is driven by changes in the price of gas. Addressing our dependency on fossil energy offers us the best way out of these crises,” Lord Deben and Sir John Armitt said in the letter.
Ms Truss has said she wants to shore up Britain’s long-term energy supply by issuing a new licensing round for North Sea oil and gas exploration and reversing a ban on shale-gas extraction. She has said she remains committed to the UK’S target of reaching net-zero emis- sions by 2050 but must improve energy security at the same time.
Gas prices have surged since Russia invaded Ukraine and the Office for Budget Responsibility expects prices to remain at three to four the pre-invasion average until 2027. The climate change committee set out five recommendations for Ms Truss on how to “reduce the UK’S exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices”. They include developing “credible” policies to make buildings more energy efficient, removing barriers to a delivering decarbonised power system and delivering a “working” market-based mechanism for low-carbon heat.
Members said addressing a “comprehensive energy advice service” to help the public understand how they can cope with the crisis was vital. Draught-proofing and lowering boiler temperatures alone could reduce gas consumption by 6-8pc.
Ms Truss is expected to unveil an £170bn energy package to help struggling households and businesses within days.